“Someday” – Short Prose

Someday the sun will come again

to paint your grey skies blue,

to smile upon the seeds you’ve sown

and return all that sorrow stole;

Someday new earth shall arise

from the ashes of burnt photographs –

memories of a different life

that could not stand the test of time;

so mourn not what has passed,

for it has only given way

to this glorious thing to come.


“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19

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10 Powerful Book Quotes

Some of the most powerful messages ever to be shared with the world are housed in books. Authors have penned their realities for centuries, weaving in the secrets of courage and perseverance. It’s safe to say that there’s a lot about books and the awe-inspiring tales they offer that need to be celebrated from time-to-time.

Today, I have compiled ten amazing book quotes from Christian authors which I believe not only to be excellent affirmations of my identity as a believer but great encouragement for anyone who wishes to pursue intentional living. Enjoy!

  1. “But I don’t want to spend my life letting my pain be the lens through which I see the world.” ― Melissa Tagg, Now and Then and Always

    Pain is a strange thing. It can force you, for the sake of survival, to become optimistic, seeing the good in all things, or can cause your view of the world to be distorted that all you can see and imitate is darkness. The good news is, we get to choose which route we take.

  2. “But the choices that lead us into broken paths often have their beginnings in more convoluted places.” ― Tessa Afshar,  Thief of Corinth

    The secret to having empathy is understanding: to be able to put oneself in another’s shoes, rather than cast judgments. Often, that understanding begins with the recognition of human complexity and being able to view the human experience in color, rather than black and white.

  3. “Though the heart may be cracked wide, pain can still seep in.” ― Rachelle Rea,  The Sound of Diamonds

    No matter what a person has gone through, there is always the possibility of a tragedy that no one saw coming. Life is almost brutally unpredictable at times. Rea gives us a sharp reminder of this.

  4. “Pain, sorrow, anger, these are all powerful emotions. Allowed to rule and left unchecked, they would destroy you. However, through training and willpower, you can choose to harness those feelings and use them for something great.” ― Jonathan Yanez, Alan Price and the Colossus of Rhodes

    Negative emotions can put a strain on personal relationships and make living seem like an all-around nightmare. Author Yanez, however, proves that they play a very important role in God’s design and that, once mastered, can lead to great accomplishments.

  5. “Fear devours the soul. You don’t have to let it consume yours.” ― Hannah Heath, Colors of Fear

    Speaking of emotions, let’s take a moment to appreciate this quote in which Heath lays down some truth about probably the most troubling emotion of all – fear. It’s the emotion which leads to many of our ruins, or, as Heath puts it, “devours the soul.” Although it serves its purpose, too much fear can blind us from the great promises of God. Thankfully, as Heath reminds us, we don’t have to let it.

  6. “It is time for you to plan ahead and stop looking behind.” ― Deborah Brodie, In His Love

    It is a natural part of the grieving process to go over what has passed and think of what should have happened instead. However, so many of us spend so much time looking back at the past (guilty as charged) that we forget that we forget to look forward to the future.

  7. “Yesterday is gone and you can’t change it. There are no guarantees for tomorrow, so save it. The best stuff is now, so live today and don’t dare waste it.” ― Michael Neale, The River

    A bit contrary to Brodie’s view but no less valuable, Neale proposes that the best time to live is today, as the past has gone and the future is uncertain.

  8. “No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.” ― Charles Martin, Long Way Gone

    One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that we’re simply too far gone. The truth is that beyond this world, its expectations, and even our own faults lies a hope and a safe haven we can always run to and find redemption.

  9. “We had given in to our vulnerability and cast down any pretenses that we were too strong to be weak.” ― Kellie Thacker, Grace

    Nowadays, everyone talks about the beauty in strength, but no one talks about the beauty in weakness. Thacker calls us to embrace our vulnerability in sweet surrender.

  10. “He has to find his own way home. Faith is a journey. It doesn’t have a stop and start date. It grows with time. Sometimes it falters and stumbles, but every misstep can be used to shape us.”~Asher Powell” ― Tammy L. Gray, My Hope Next Door

    The journey to faith is a very personal one with many obstacles to overcome. It is not obtained overnight. It is obtained through constant testing, made to challenge and strengthen us. Although a long and rocky road, there is no doubt that the results are worthwhile. So why not embrace the journey?

Regardless of our social or religious backgrounds, perhaps we can all agree on one thing: life, at times, can be challenging, perplexing, and unpredictable. But with just a little hope, it becomes more than possible to withstand it all.

Books often act as bridges, opening up our minds to new perspectives that may awaken new knowledge and desires in us, or build upon what had already existed. All we have to do is be willing to receive.

What have you been reading lately? What new discoveries have you made? Feel free to leave your thoughts below!

Love, A.


“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11

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Life Update: Big, Big Changes

Have you ever had the feeling that something’s not quite right but just can’t seem to tell what it is? Well, that feeling has followed me nearly my whole life.

But no more intense had that feeling ever been than two months ago when I had finally decided to let my blog go.

Weighed down by my own inner uncertainty, I decided to make a few changes in my life. Once my experiments began, my blog became their biggest playground. In turn, it seemed I had lost all sense of direction, both on screen and off screen.

Additionally, school had packed on a plethora of responsibilities that made it seem almost impossible to keep doing what I loved.

In my heart’s desperate plea, I decided to call it quits. After all, I felt tired and uninspired. I thought it only natural to do so.

But only after a short hiatus, I decided something unexpected.

Why I Came Back

When I thought I had fallen out of love with writing, distance had proven that my love would only continue to grow stronger the longer I resisted it.
After this epiphany of sorts, I vowed to never, ever to let my emotions get the best of me again, nor to let a busy schedule get between my passion and myself.
But just when I thought the storms were stilled, suddenly, I found myself right back where I started, emotionally and physically drained.

After finally taking a break from school, my relatively free schedule had suddenly become full again, causing my blog to become a virtual desert.

Even after getting some free time to blog, I approached the task with anxiety.

Why I Hesitated

I feel celebrating a marriage is a good enough reason for anyone’s absence, and I enjoyed spending time with family to enjoy this very important transitional period.

However, during my absence, I came to realize just how terrible I am at making time for the things I love, so much so that I began to wonder if there was any point in trying at all.
But if there’s anything that has changed for the better over the years, it is that I no longer have a defeatist attitude. I’ve made the decision once and for all to press on in faith and to take the pen as my sword while here on earth.

Now as Sword & Sojourner, I resolve to be my authentic self, a twenty-year-old seeking to uncover the mysteries of life and sharing her discoveries in meaningful art. And though my mind is still very much filled to the brim with whats and ifs, I look forward to the many adventures we’ll have figuring this life out together.

Until next week,

Love, A.


“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

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A. Gray

Fear vs. Faith

Part of life’s beauty is its unpredictability.

Amazing things can happen when we simply let the chips fall where they may.

Still, most of us have a hard time letting go of control for one reason: the outcomes we are dealt in life aren’t always favourable.

Because there actually are many things we can control in lives with a certain level of ease, it is always tempting to believe that we are the masters of our fate. Things like death, rejection, and betrayal act as humble reminders of the fragility of our lives and existence.

But regardless of how many times we encounter these tragedies, nothing really ever seems to prepare us for them fully.

So, what do we do when life doesn’t go according to plan?

Let Go and Let God

The truth is, we can make all the plans want, but God’s plan will always reign supreme. Sometimes, the only choice we have is to let go.

Sadly, this is easier said than done, especially since this piece of advice raises one very troubling question…

How can our suffering be God’s will?

War. Famine. Poverty. There is so much that is wrong with the world that, at times, it can be a little difficult to focus on what is right.

Still, if we only take the time to contribute to what is right in the world, we are sure to witness miracles unfold.

But let’s face it – we can only do so much. The war of good against evil has ever been raging.

The way I see it, the only true liberty we have in this world is changing the things we can and surrendering all else to God, even when we don’t truly understand.

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

Accepting God’s Plan

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have days I wished God would whisk me up to heaven so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassles of living. But slowly, I’m learning to take each day as a blessing and an opportunity to do good, live well, and enjoy the best of what life has to offer me.

And honestly, I would not have gotten this far without having a little faith.

Building a relationship with God had brought me tremendous peace over the years.
Even when things get a little rough, I feel comforted knowing my life is in the hands of an omniscient God and can rest in the promise of eternal hope. So, though I may not always be in control, I know that I can trust God to do what He does best.

Does this mean I don’t still try to control every aspect of my life? Of course not!

Breaking the Chains

In life, my greatest battle has been learning to replace fear with faith.

I’m still human, and I still struggle daily with my old ways, but with only a small amount of faith, I’ve been able to witness big changes.

And now that I know that I know what faith can do, I can face the unexpected much more bravely.

Now, daily, I get to witness the beauty of the surrender of control.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29: 11

Thanks for reading! And as usual, feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Love,

A. ❤


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Music Monday: My Portion

  There is nothing quite like a soft piano ballad with an honest but reassuring message. Isla Vista Worship offers all this and more with their song My Portion, which speaks to the lure of distractions in one’s spiritual journey and the reignition of one’s faith. The reiteration of central ideas throughout the song paints […]

Book Review: Blue by Danielle Steel

Looking for your run-of-the-mill love story? Stop right there.
Kickstarting my new book review series is Danielle Steel’s New York Times bestseller Blue, a touching novel about hope. Leading off with a brief summary, we’ll explore what makes the novel great, and what could be improved.

Summary

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Living in beautiful, sunny Beverly Hills, Ginny Carter enjoys a promising career in TV news as wife to a top anchorman and mother to a three-year-old son. Then one day, in a single blow, her picturesque world shatters to pieces.

After a freeway accident, Ginny is left both widowed and childless. Despite her tragedy, she fights to carry on by dedicating her time to a greater good, yet still finds herself weighed down by a deep sense of despair and longing.

Then, on the anniversary of the freak accident, she meets Blue, a thirteen-year-old boy with a dark secret who would go on to change her life forever.

My Commendations

  • A respectful take on touchy subjects.
    The book touches on several serious issues afflicting our world today, and each issue is explored in a classy manner. Subjects discussed include Alzheimer’s disease, orphanage, homelessness, and sexual abuse. Most of the gritty details are withheld; despite this, the novel is informative as it demonstrates the effects each issue has on the intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships of sufferers.
  • Easy-to-read.
    Steel’s writing style is rather simplistic in this novel, which makes for smooth reading. Complex issues are discussed in an uncomplicated manner, which makes the message accessible and comprehensible to a wide audience.
  • Refreshing concept.
    In the world of literature, love can seem one-dimensional at times, with kisses, cuddles, and hand-holding often being at the forefront. And while Blue meets the criteria of the cliche to some extent, Steel gives readers a friendly reminder that love can take several forms.
  • A good message.
    Life is full of twists and turns. Sometimes, when we think we’ve found happiness, something comes along to prove us wrong. Blue, however, reminds us that while tragedy may feel like the end of happiness, it doesn’t have to be. Though the novel has quite a few merits, what truly sets it apart from others is its message. The main takeaway here is as the book itself states: “Happiness can be found in unexpected places.” So hold onto hope, no matter what.

My Criticisms

  • Good ideas, but weak execution.
    Steel’s writing is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is simple and easy to digest. On the other hand, it is very direct and leaves little to the imagination. I would have liked to see more creative language being employed.
  • Storyline could use more details.
    Some parts of the story felt rushed. At times, I felt a disconnect because of how briefly and matter-of-factly the lives and bonds of the characters were described. I could not form a proper image of their world in my mind, despite the realism of the novel.
  • Predictable plot.
    The story tries its best to remain true to life but does not totally avoid the cliches of the fantastical world of literature. This would not be an issue if the intention was to sell a dream. However, considering the intensity of the topics discussed in the novel, I am more inclined to believe that the goal was to be as realistic as possible. Nonetheless, if selling the dream sparks hope in the reader (as it has for me), then I believe Steel deserves a pass.

All that I have expressed above is my opinion. Please do not let my opinion deter you from reading the book for yourself!

Rating: 3.5/5


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Update: I’m Back!

Not long ago, I confessed that I was no longer passionate about blogging. And so I did what I thought was only natural. I quit.

Now I’m proud to announce that I’m back with a brand new look, brand new vision, and most importantly, a brand new attitude! But although I’m ecstatic, I’ll admit that this really wasn’t an easy decision to make.

After all, my going away notice was a bit of a half-truth. In fact, the true reason I left was because of my own self-questioning.

Doubts about my writing started to cloud my mind daily, and it began to show in ink. I was terrified of the possibility that perhaps the reason no one was reading my work was simply that no one cares. In other words, I wasn’t talented enough to make anyone care.

Sure, I was being a bit of a negative Nancy, but who was there to prove me wrong? A better question would be, who could prove me wrong? Simply put, my writing had become a quest for validation. Somewhere along the way, it had all become more about numbers and less about passion. And I was absolutely miserable. Why?

Because it wasn’t me.

Now I’m back and ready to share my voice with the world again, without the expectations. Just pure, raw passion.

And I have a feeling that this time around, things will be different.

Until next week,

❤ A.