Thorns and Stones.

I was away for the weekend and couldn’t post. But here I am again.

So, I was at church camp, something just about every Christian kid has heard of or been to; and a lot of us love it; but some of us have skepticism about the results.

Maybe you can relate, people have an amazing, emotional experience, they say their life will never be the same, and in a month or so they start acting like they always have. and you think “Well that was a lot of nothing.”

This is not just a Christian thing, everyone from pop stars to homeless people knows these kinds of experiences. Those of us who just know people who’ve had them can get pretty skeptical. So why? Is it really true that people just don’t change? And religion, or at least epiphany, is just emotional hype.

I’ll tell you that everyone from public school teachers to youth group counselors are puzzled about this problem. Why? they ask, can’t kids stick with change? Then they sigh and shrug it off and say, oh well. Back to the drawing board. Hey, I admire they’re perseverance, I just wish they didn’t relinquish they’re expectations.

The Bible sums up this problem perfectly in a parable Jesus told, famously called the Sower. The Sower is sowing seeds and they keep falling in the wrong places, some on the road, some among thorns, others among stones, and some on good soil. The ones on the road get eaten by birds. But the ones among the thorns and the stones sprout and grow for a time. But then the thorns grow up and choke the wheat, and the wheat on the stones withers because of the sun, since it has no deep roots.  Jesus then explains that those seeds represent people who hear the word and rejoice but then the cares and troubles of the world (the weeds) choke them, and they fall away. Others rejoice and grow for a time, but they have no root in themselves, and when trouble comes because of the word, they fall away.

I want to point out that the two enemies here are distraction and difficulty.

This camp I was at, the preachers warned us, don’t get distracted when you go home, and not live out what you were taught. Do you know what I started thinking about before I even left?  The things I wanted to do when I got home, and how I wanted to eat a decent meal. (Camp food is okay, but I’ve never eaten much of it. I have low appetite in high altitude.) And do you know what met me when I woke up this morning? The buzz of the TV in another room, and the things I wanted to  get done today.


There maybe not a single thing that more quickly kills passion. And not just spiritual fire, I mean any kind of passion. Except, you’ll notice, the unhealthy kinds. Like addictions to substances, electronics, or gaming, or whatever. Because those things are effortless.

You’ve heard the saying anything worth doing is worth doing right, but there’s another saying, it goes something like “nothing worth having comes easy.”

And it’s true. Experience and Success at worth having, but they aren’t easy. Even if they are, in rare cases, an overnight sensation, it doesn’t last without hard work. And what’s worse is the people who succeed quickly often don’t have the character or the know how to keep on succeeding, and when trouble comes, they fall under.

Think of Luke Skywalker in “The Empire Strikes Back.” He’s all set to take on the enemy, but he’s warned by Yoda about his anger. He also fails because he doesn’t believe enough in what is possible. In the end he recklessly tries to rescue his friends, and receives a major setback, it literally costs him a limb (well, a hand.) Plus, he doesn’t help his friends, they have to endanger themselves to go back and rescue him. In the end, he has a burden he was not ready for, the knowledge of who his father is.

In the end Luke’s mistakes do end up helping him, after he learns from them. But he demonstrated a lack of maturity in making them in the first place. Like the seeds on the stony soil, he hadn’t enough root.

It’s good for us that you can change the kind of soil you are. Weeds can be pulled out, rocks can be removed. If someone else puts the time and effort into doing so.

And the thing is, usually we do need help. It’s rare that we change without receiving a wake up call from someone or something. Usually it has to be their intention to stir us up. Some of us can just go to a camp, or a conference, and that’s enough. Others need a person to walk with them and encourage them.

But sadly, a lot of young people don’t put out the effort to find such a person, and even if they do (as I have) it can be hard to find anyone who really believes you can handle being pushed. And if they don’t, they won’t do you much good.

My last resource, as I have explained in recent posts, is also my first: I go to God. He’s the sower and He knows how to tend the soil to make it better. I used to be poor soil, but I finally caught the fire, and I haven’t lost it yet. But I’m aware that it is not my own ability but God’s careful leading that is responsible for that.

Maybe you have a parent like that, or another mentor, like a teacher or more distant relative. Maybe you don’t, but I encourage you anyway to do your part. Distraction and difficulty are hard obstacles to overcome, but it is possible if you don’t quit.

That’s all for now, over and out–Natasha.


Weeds, a bird, and clutter.


Thank You

I think it’s great that people from all over the world check out my small blog.

I really don’t know why, but it must be something I’m doing right.

I don’t know the first thing about communicating via social media, so this is a learning experience in that way as well as in the writing way.

I guess you could say this post is a thank you to everyone who checks out this blog. There’s a million blogs to choose from and it’s amazing to me when I get new people viewing my material.

I don’t have a profound topic today, but I am encouraged by the views and the likes, it helps me feel like I am building up that experience I’ll need later on in life with how to write to an audience that I don’t know, but I want to connect with.

So, thank you.


How I became a rebelutionary–Part 2.

To continue from my previous post:

So, I left off at the point I decided to just direct myself. How did that work out for me?

As you can probably guess, not so well.

I lacked discipline, and to be honest, I still do.

Not too far into this phase I became a full Christian, and I had to ask myself how God affected my wish to change the world. God does not lower the bar, whatever you think you can do, He can do more with you.

The first thing God did was have me stretch myself in the areas I was weak. I was still a very fearful person then, in spite of my dreams. Once my fear started to become less of an issue, I though I was finally ready to tackle a really big Hard Thing. I tried to complete a big project. To raise $10,000 for a cause I believed in. The idea was inspired by the sequel to “Do Hard Things”, “Start Here.”

Yeah, I didn’t start small. I ignored the people who cautioned me about this, and I also didn’t wait to be sure God was on board with it. I never even made it to a tenth of the sum.

However, there is no such thing as a wasted experience. I did get my first taste of public speaking, speech writing, and fundraising through that process. I learned stuff the hard way, but I also discovered strengths I didn’t know I had.

You see where I still had growth though, as I said in my last post, I do tend to rush into things.

I did a little bit of teaching through my youth group after that, but low expectations continued to infuriate me on a regular basis. Worst of all was that all of my peers bought into them and despite our youth leaders honest efforts to inspire us, they didn’t seem to get it. Again I kept getting told that I was the exception, not the rule. My attitude began to be “Well, dang it! Why not?”

Frankly, that’s still my attitude. I am an extremely gifted person, I have accepted that; but I am not a person who’s really done that much more than anybody else. The difference is, I’ve been looking for ways to change, and learn, and effect my world since I was a young teen. That has sculpted my character. Plus, I figured out something else really important.

You let God lead. Even if you don’t like where He’s leading. If you had told me three years ago that I would do the things I have down in the past two years, I would have been dubious at best, terrified at the worst. I have face things that were huge obstacles in my life only a short time ago, and now, I could face them again, and know it was possible to overcome them because I’ve already done it.

Some things I can’t share because they are too personally, but here’s an example of what I mean:

Going to another country, where getting sick was a distinct risk, and where I wouldn’t know anyone, even the people I was going with. And I couldn’t call home. I couldn’t quit in the middle. I couldn’t do anything except rely on god to get me through.

And oh my gosh, did it work! God is amazing people. That terrifying choice ended up being the best experience I ever had next to becoming a Christian in the first place.

I began to be a rebelutionary the first time I decided not to be satisfied with what the world expects of me. But I didn’t finish becoming one until I’d gone through the process of being refined (that is groomed) for the challenges of that lifestyle. I still am in the process. I always will be growing and changing, for the better I hope and believe.

So that’s my story. I may not be able to contribute to the books about Doing Hard things, but I can se the one platform I do have and the small circle of influence I currently hold, to be a voice for it.

So, if I could learn, you can. You may be like me, or you may be completely different. I just want you to know that the journey starts with your perspective radically changing. You could very well be on that journey already, if so, I’ll see you at the finish line.

The important thing is to start, and not to quit. Use every experience as fuel for the fire, even the negative ones. Don’t listen to anyone who puts you down because of your talents or age or history. This is turning over a new leaf. Even if you failed yesterday, the next day you can start again.

This is really a lot of points in one post, but it’s what I’m learning from becoming a rebelutionary.

Until next time–Natasha.


Reach higher.

How I became a rebelutionary

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this, at least not at length, but I am something that’s known as a Rebelutionary.

It’s not a word, you say. Well, not yet, but it will be. It’s already being used by a lot of teens. I can even define the root word.

Rebelution: 1. A teenage rebellion against low expectations. 2. A rebellion that is also a revolution. (Take the Revolutionary War for example.)

Okay, so why am I telling you this? Well, because it’s an interesting story. As I was telling some friends of mine just last week, until I was around 13, I didn’t start reading a lot of those inspirational books you might have guessed I read now. My mom read them, she even encouraged me too, but I tried and I just wasn’t ready.

I still remember the first time I opened the first one of these books, called “Do Hard Things.” I was sitting on the landing of the house we used to live in. I remember even then I was caught by the tag line of the book:

Most People don’t expect you to understand what we’re gong to tell you in tis book. And even if you understand they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last.  WE DO.

Boom! I was hooked. Yet I wasn’t at the point where I did care the first time. As a kid I always knew I wanted to do something big, but I didn’t feel it was time or that I was ready. Or old enough. Finally, at 12-13, this started to make more sense. even before then, I was challenged by books such as these, but at 13,I actually began thinking I could take action about it.

Did something huge happen? Yes…and no.

I am definitely the type of person who gets an idea and runs with it. I now have learned to  control that because otherwise I go off half cocked because I don’t take time to calm down and think things through. That was the problem, I would read a book, and love its message, but I would be frustrated when, as a homeschooled, small circled, barely young adult, I lacked the resources or know how to do any of the things I thought sounded cool.

See, I loved the part about being able to accomplish great things, I didn’t get the part where it was actually hard.

And what ended up being hardest for me was waiting.

I had to wait and wait and wait.

So, when did I become a rebelutionary?

Well, it turns out, waiting isn’t actually exclusive of that lifestyle. God’s plan ends up being different for everyone. It turns out that I had a lot of things I needed to learn on my own time, that would have been major problems if I’d rushed into doing a lot of big things. I’ve blogged about some of those things.

Also, I did try to accomplish things, even from my limited space. I was always better at seeing the problems around me than right in front of me. Unfortunately, I was not so good at knowing how to solve them.

You see, it turns out I lacked the people skills to solve problems. simply because I was not around other people often enough, and when I was I suffered from shyness. I got more passionate about things, but I didn’t knw how to express it. I shudder when I remember some stupid mistakes I made. Not stupid, actually, just inexperienced.

Now, it wasn’t totally my fault, I did the best I could on what I did know. Nobody ever showed me how to do better. They told me to, but they never demonstrated what that looked like. I write this to say if you’re going to try to help someone, actually help them. No one likes to be told to improve by  a person who doesn’t follow their own advice.

I think my lack of mentorship actually demonstrates the problem, the reason “Do Hard Things” was written. When I became one of the people rebelling against low expectations, naturally the first obstacle I ran into was–Low Expectations.

I could meet the expectations of the church in my sleep. Literally. All I had to do to impress people was repeat what I’d heard a bajillion times, keep my mouth shut the rest of the time, and play nice with the other kids. even when I failed at that last one, I was still a good kid. My parents trained me well, and I’m glad they did. But my parents ever meant for it to end there, and it baffled me that other adults couldn’t seem to care less whether I wanted to accomplish more or not. Since I was already in shape, they focused on the people who weren’t.

Why? I didn’t know, I think they thought it was their job. Me? I was fine. I’d be okay.

Well, I eventually decided I’d just have to lead myself. No one else was gonna do it.

If you want to hear the rest of the story, read my next post, but this one is already plenty long.

Until Part 2–Natasha.


Reach higher.

A sad farewell

This is a post in commemoration of something that may only matter to me personally.


Light up the stars

 Girl Meets World has been cancelled.

If you never watched it you probably don’t care, and I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t either.

Now, unlike a lot of fans, I’m not broken up about it. I have to confess that a lot of the more recent episodes had begun to turn me off because they were so repetitive. But I believed the writers could climb out of their rut. Now they may not get the chance.

Plus the final episodes were really good, and I almost was moved to tears by them. I could relate plenty to the idea of leaving places and people you love to go separate ways. All the fans feel like they didn’t get their fair share  of the show, since it only ran three seasons instead of the expected four.

Well it’s Disney channel’s right to cancel whatever they want. But I will say without bias (since I used to watch Disney Channel before Girl Meets World existed and I didn’t like most of the shows. I barely liked any,) the it is the best show I’ve ever seen on the channel, and one of the best shows for kids I’ve seen period.

I think Girl Meets World is worth remembering for one reason. though it had it’s flaws, it was clear to all of us watching that the writers (and actors) cared about their audience. Whether we agreed with them or not, we knew they had the guts to challenge us. And to talk to us about mature subjects that even adults struggle with, and yet in a way high schoolers could relate to, whether you’re homeschooled, private schooled, or public schooled.

Without being inappropriate, this show managed to be serious and also funny. It didn’t do it perfectly, but it didn’t have to. We could tell they were trying, and that made up for the errors most of the time. Even when it didn’t, we still gave the next episode a shot because we knew they could outperform themselves.

Frankly, the young actors on that show could be proud of being on it. And I can’t say that about a lot of kids’ shows.

The fact that this show was cancelled at all demonstrates to me and every other fan, that the producers actually couldn’t care less about what we learn and if they are improving out lives. The total crud they are endorsing season after season because it gets better ratings….? Why?!!

I’ll tell you why. Money. And the fact that our culture does not hold anyone in the industry up to any kind of standards for making good quality material. As long as it’s not sex, drugs, or alcohol, and no one’s getting murdered, it’s a kid show.

Read that last sentence again. What are we coming to? Girl Meets World, silly as it sounds, was a beacon of hope to a lot of us that maybe some people out there cared.

You see, we’re realistic, we know that despite whatever we think is healthy, millions of kids will watch TV. Whether they should or not. So the best thing we can hope for is that the shows on there will actually be promoting good morals. Good experiences.

Instead we see a lot of humor that involves behaving like an animal or an emotionally unstable human being. A lot of kids are imitating that. I have. (I know better now, I hope.)

TV may never make you smarter, but it could still be a good influence on you if we wanted it bad enough. But why should entertainment have a point? Or why should it have a good point?

The point of a lot of shows is to make fun of us. The viewers. And to mock us. And to desecrate the most important things in life. And we let them. Because it’s a joke.

I’m being a  bit hard on us because this bugs me a lot. I’ve seen and dealt with TV addiction firsthand, and I know what it did to me. It won’t physically show, but you mind is more important than your body. (Hear me Millenials? Don’t believe the magazine covers.)

I’m running long so I’m going to conclude. But I’m challenging whoever reads this to consider what our standards should be. I know that big flashing screen is hypnotizing, I dal with it every day. But I also know you can walk out of the room. You can quit. And you can make decisions now about what your kids will be allowed to take into their minds. and whether or not you even need a TV in your house.

I just want you to think about it. Over ant out–Natasha.

I’ve been waiting for a day like this to come, struck like lightning, my heart’s beating like a drum, on the edge of something wonderful.

Face to face with changes, what’s it all about? Life is crazy, but I know I can work it out, ’cause I’ve got you to live it with me.

I feel all right like I could take on the world! Light up the stars I got some pages to turn. Singing whoa-o-o. I got a ticket to the top of the sky, I’m coming up I’m on the ride of my life! Whoa-o-o.

Take on the world. Take on the world. Take on the world!


First step

So, just a short little tidbit today.

This was the day I got behind the wheel of a car and drove for the first time.



It won’t be too long now before I get my license, and I waited an extra amount of time to be ready.

I can just say that it’s better to wait until you’re ready to do something. Forget the average age, and if you’re ready early, fine; if you’re ready late, that’s also fine. Not that I’m talking about doing anything illegal.

And then you just take the first step and keep going.

Whether it seems like a big deal or not, I’m a little bit closer to a lot more freedom. I think that’s a principle of life. Every little thing we do right puts us a little closer to freedom. Whether it’s choosing not to binge (last post) choosing to study that extra hour, choosing to out in a little more effort at work, we always want more personal responsibility, because that’s what’s fulfilling. (In the area of what you do.)

U100_1577ntil Next Post–Natasha.