What I Learned In 2017

That’s a really cliche clickbaity title, but it was going to accurate.

I was going to write a post about how I grew this year and what I learned, but then Mrs. Dawnlizjones wrote this post on INSPIRATION with an ATTITUDE, and I realized that her main theme was going to be my main point! 😆 So, I’m gonna just let you read hers, and then give a recap of my year.

From INSPIRATION with an ATTITUDE

After a painful, drama-filled beginning of year, I felt like a terrible human being. When I was offered a chance to work at a Christian summer camp, Camp Gilead, I jumped at it as a chance to follow God’s will instead of mine.

That was the greatest decision of my life because I grew SO. MUCH. over the span of just a few months and cultivated friendships that are still bearing fruit.

Due to camp, I drove two hours on the highway multiple times after only having my license for a couple months… My mom is still confused on how she ever let me do that, haha.

I became a lot more independent and responsible this year — you can ask my mom. I’ve gotten gas by myself multiple times, run errands for my mom once in a while, and drive myself and my sisters around very often. It’s been cool to have that level of freedom. 🙂

I had had my own room at the beginning of the year, but I moved in with my sister after camp. Sharing a room is harder than I remembered, but we’re working on it. 🙂

At the beginning of the Lunar year (in the fall), Jews around the world read a section of the Torah each week, starting in Genesis. My family started doing this too this fall, and I’ve gained soooo much knowledge and perspective on the first book of the Bible (we just finished Genesis) because we’re watching some videos in conjunction with each week’s parsha (portion in Hebrew). The videos are non-Messianic, but Rabbi David Fohrman is an incredible teacher with incredible insight into the Torah. Often, we discuss his videos and say, “If only he knew the rest of the story! What he could do with the New Testament!” I can’t wait for Exodus!

My family also joined GCHFA this year, which is the culmination of my childhood dreams: playing in a band and singing in a choir. The fact that it’s with other Christian homeschoolers is just the coolest thing ever. Our Christmas concert went splendidly, as did our assisted living facility outreach the week after. Yay!

My mom got some pics… 🙂

I know that there are more things that were relatively important this year, but also that I’ll only remember them once I publish this, so I’m not going to sweat it. Regardless, it was a really good year, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for 2018.

Happy New Year!

-Squid

Quatro Años

Guys…

I started blogging in 2013, so I was 13 (which just seems crazy to say).  In these four years, I’ve gained 324 followers. (Hoooowww???) But, more than that statistic, I’ve gained an uncountable number of friends; on WordPress and in real life.  Some have been good for a short time but faded away, and some are still here since 2013.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship because God also has recently given my family a bunch of new friends through our band/orchestra/choir program, GCHFA, through our synagogue, and through random (I mean God-designed!) encounters at the beach.  Like, how cool are people who are incredibly cool but yet also think that you’re cool??  It’s so great!

Thank you to all of these amazing friends (online and in person) who have made an investment into my life.  I wouldn’t be here without you, and I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without you. 

Praise God for friends!

-Syd the Squid

P.S. I’m going to see The Last Jedi with a bunch of my church friends (FAMILY) tonight!  

Christmas Tiiiiimmee Is Here!

I’ve been really busy practicing Christmas music for my upcoming band and choir concert.  Even my little brother has started singing “Jubilate Deeeeeoooo” around the house. 🙂  

My internal 10 year old Jewish girl still doesn’t know how I learned all these songs so quickly, but here we are, haha.  

But, she’s placated by the fact that my family is going to be leading worship at our synagogue’s Hanukkah celebration… Which is the day after our Christmas concert (but we’re just going to ignore that). 😄

Since my life’s been so wrapped up in music, I thought I’d go back and find some of my favorite music-related posts to share again. 

Strumming in Vibrato – A poem, the style of which is based loosely on The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe, which is my favorite poem ever. 🙂 

Ivory Keys (also a poem)

Little Drummer Girl – A short, slightly cringy contemplation of the gender gap in percussion… However, in my percussion class now, guys:gals is 4:3, so it actually feels pretty balanced.
I want to thank the people at GCHFA for their incredible mentoring and friendship.  GCHFA is Gulf Coast Homeschool Fine Arts.  It’s pretty much the coolest thing ever invented, cause now I’m playing the xylophone, snare, and bells in a band, while also singing in a choir, all with other Christian homeschoolers!  I appreciate this program and the people who run it immensely.  Thank you!

-Sydney

Sh’nah Tovah!

This post was written during my stepdad’s sermon at our synagogue on Yom T’ruah, so it’s a mixture of convictions, insights, and sermon notes.  Please listen to the actual message too, which I’ve linked to twice now in the same paragraph.  You’re welcome.

Sh’nah Tovah! (Happy New Year!) The blessing of a new year is not to be understated.

A new year, one without the mistakes and regrets of the last. One without the choices that haunt me still, nearly a year later. What a blessing indeed! The past is behind me, Hallelu Et Adonai! (Praise to the Lord!)

Lev 23:24
Yom T’ruah is a holiday of remembering, a memorial.
Memorials exist so that we never forget the good in the pain.
We remember the selfless heroes who died defending our country with memorials erected in their honor.

I want to forget the pain, but
I want to remember the lessons.
I want to forget the sinful thoughts, but
I want to remember the way God brought me back.
I want to forget the mistakes, but
I want to remember the way my mom fought for me.
I want to forget the hurt I caused, but
I want to remember the ones who forgave me.

God is both holy and loving. He calls me to be set apart, to set my heart apart for Him. He, in His love, gives me a reset button: a new year, month, week, day. He forgives me the sin that I confess to Him and repent from.
I want to turn from the patterns of thought I fall into, I want to run as far away from what entices my heart away from Him.

Love is not truly love unless it’s communicated, verbally and through actions. God loves us, and He has shown it.  Have I shown my love for Him?

–Exodus 19:9, 16, 18-20
While in the darkness, you rely on what you can hear. God wanted His people to hear Him.
–Deuteronomy 4:10-11
“I will make them hear.”
–Genesis 1:2
“darkness of darkness” out of the darkness, God speaks.
–Psalm 33:6
“A breath from His mouth” is very similar to the Sinai shofar blast.
–Genesis 3:8
“evening breeze” could equal “breath of God”
–1 Kings 19:12
Mount Sinai again, and Elijah was afraid, just as the Israelites were afraid. In the darkness, chaos, destruction, fear reigned. But in the quiet voice of God, Elijah found his Adonai.
–Psalm 33:18, 20-22
God hovers over the darkness of our soul so that He can bring forth life from it. He announces His presence with the sound of a shofar.
–John 10:11, 14
“We know the voice, the still small voice, of our Savior.”

The shofar blast is our cry for help. But we don’t need a trumpet blast, we have the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) interceding for us when we have simply wordless groans.

8 is symbolic for new beginnings.
Welcome, year 5778!

Holy Unto You (a song that makes me cry every time I sing/hear it 😊)

Happy New Year!!

Sydney

Naples Trip Pics

Hey, guys!

Our family recently took a mini vacation for the weekend at a beachfront condo in a town not too far from here but far enough away to feel like far away. 🙂  

While we were there, it rained.  But, it didn’t just rain, it deluged the entire area for a short period of time.  

This made for awesome cloud cover!! Naturally, I took pictures. 

These are the lower-quality versions, so, if you want to see the high-res originals, head over to my Flickr page (link on the side widget with the pics!) and check them out!  

Squid

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