Saturday, November 30, 2013

Report Card- November 2013

It was a really crazy month for school, with three tests and another one to prepare for right at the beginning of December. However, I made it through the craziness without completely losing it. So did my resolutions get completed amongst all of the hecticness? Continue reading to find out. :)

Read the Johns, Jude, and Revelations

Completed! Now that I've finished with the new testament I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Probably Proverbs or Psalms, or maybe both… at the same time! ;)

Read or Re-Read at least 10 books

After I finished Wives and Daughters. I did a marathon reading where I read the last quarter of
it in one afternoon… which was no small chunk. 
I read A LOT to get this goal completed. However, I did complete it! I read The Practice of the Presence of God  by Brother Lawrence, Freddy the Pied Piper and Freddy the Cowboy by Walter Brooks, Hunted and Harried  by R.M. Ballantyne, The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, Praying Successfully by Charles Spurgeon, Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (Started in previous months but finished this month), and The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton (Started in previous months but finished this month). I re-read Frank Perretti's This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. I recommend all of those books, especially Wives and Daughters. If you've seen and enjoyed the mini-series based off the book, you'll want to read the book too. This is actually only these second time I've made a goal of ten books for the month and made it. 

Write a blog post per week

I overachieved on this one. That's okay though, y'all just love reading my blog posts anyways that you liked having extra ones… right? ;)

Pray Daily

I did the worst on this I've ever done since making this goal. I'm not sure there were more than a handful of days that I prayed. There were really no excuses and I need to get my act together about that. 

Study

In some ways I think I did really well on studying in other ways not so much. For my last unit test I think I did okay studying on. For my pharmacology test, I think I did great studying on! There was a lot of pressure with that test though as there were only 25 questions and I had to get a 75% or better or retake the test until I did. If I couldn't pass the test I didn't pass the class. Oh yes… and I had to know 50 drugs… six facts about each drug… for a total of 300 facts. Thankfully though I passed the first time. 

Memorize some scripture

Nope. I kept reminding myself, and then forgetting over and over again. I had so much else to cram in my head though that maybe it just wasn't a good month to add this in.

So so this month. 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 Best Things About Being a Kid

Once again I'm linking up with Mama Kat for a post… she always has such fun prompts. :) Today's prompt is the ten best things about being a kid. Since I'm just out of childhood I'm quite in the know… I assure you. All joking aside though, there are seriously some things about childhood that were amazing that I'm missing right now.

  1. Number one to me is clearly the fact that I always thought that parents/grownups knew what was going on and that they could always take care of it. I've grown up….
  2. Being outside all day long… okay, not all day long but just about in the summer. Back then I didn't burn either, I just tanned. Now I burn… badly! 
  3. I didn't gain weight. When I was a kid I was as skinny as a stick… I seriously didn't gain weight. Those were the days.
  4. I was never the driver. I really just don't like driving and I long for the days when the suggestion that Lois should drive would be laughable. 
  5. I always believed people… or at the worst they were just joking. Life isn't so simple anymore. People lie, people bend the truth, and unfortunately you can't just take people at their face value. I find this really, really sad and it frustrates me a lot. 
  6. It didn't matter if you didn't know what to say or said something stupid. Actually, when your a kid, it's cute so you'd get bonus points. 
  7. Your decisions didn't make a big impact on where your life was going… normally. Honestly though, you didn't make a lot of decisions, your parents did… and that was nice… really nice. 
  8. School wasn't a big deal… if you didn't do so well, then it was retaught and you try again. There weren't any "bad grades" or "fails". Actually though, that might just be partly me being homeschooled. Not to say I didn't take school seriously as a kid, but compared to now, it's very different. 
  9. There weren't all of the electronic distractions. I read a lot but now I play around with my phone, or my computer instead. Pretty much always less edifying then a good book. 
  10. Just wrapping everything up, I'd say last but not least, the whole innocence of childhood. Not to say children are innocent by any stretch of the imagination. You only have to spend a few minutes with a five year old to know the mischief they can let loose. What I mean is the little bubble I was in of no major responsibilities. With everything that goes on in my life anymore, from school to work to family I long for the days when it wasn't my responsibility and I need not worry about it. 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vlog- What I'm Hoping to Wear for Thanksgiving

Today I'm linking up with Mama Kat for my very first vlog post. If you have trouble viewing the video please let me know. As I said this is my first time and add in that I'm technologically deficient and I wouldn't be surprised if the result is that the video doesn't work right. ;) Enjoy! 


video



Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

The sheep ornament I made for the Jesse tree.
There is little that annoys me more than anything Christmas before Thanksgiving. However, against my nature, I actually have been doing a little Christmas stuff recently. I want to blame it on the frigid weather. It has been below freezing pretty much every night and sometimes all through the day for the last week or so. With such cold weather and us finally lighting our wood burning stove, how can I not think Christmas thoughts? I even went so far as to watch a Christmas movie yesterday!

I got to participate in a Jesse Tree project through my church. Twenty-five of us ladies each made 25 different ornaments for the Jesse Tree and then exchanged them so that everyone had one of each ornament for their tree. We signed up do it last winter with the idea that we would have a whole year to complete them…. yeah, not me. The college student said "procrastinate" and I did. About three weeks before they needed to be completed I started thinking about making my sheep ornaments. I looked at crochet patterns (as I planned on crocheting them) online and couldn't find anything that I really liked except for patterns for purchase. So I ended up creating my own pattern from the different pictures I had seen and I really like how it turned out. About two weeks before I needed to have them ready I decided to start working on them… slowly, but surely! About a week before they were due I started panicking as I only had about half of them done and that was half done without heads or legs yet. Procastinater till the end, I ended up finishing them up about three hours before they were due with the help of my little sister and mother. I never could have done it without them. :)

Another Christmasy project I completed was to pack a couple shoeboxes for Operation Christmas child. I try to do a couple every year… I don't always, but I try. This year I included a note with my address so hopefully I'll hear back from the children that get my shoeboxes!

However, on a more Thanksgiving note, I am finally on Thanksgiving break! I had a pharmacology test this morning for nursing that I did well on. I have been freaking out about this test all semester long so I'm glad it's finally done. I wish I could kick back and relax over this little break but I have another test right after the break so I will have to do some studying. :( However I won't spend the whole time studying, probably I won't spend enough time studying. I'm looking forward to spending some time with family and enjoying a great Thanksgiving dinner. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Have you divulged in a little Christmas spirit yet or are you a Scrooge like me? ;)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Eight Must Read Books

Today I am linking up again with Mama Kat to talk about eight books that I believe everyone should read in their lifetime. Before I list them, this is just my opinion, there are a lot of books I haven't read, so take it as it is. Some of them, I list one book, but I like all the books by that author so kind of think of it as a set of books. :) Please comment and let me know what books you would put on your list of must reads!

The Bible

As a Christian I obviously consider this to be a must read. It is the word of God and it shows us His will for our lives. I am given to understand, that even non-Christians consider it to be a "good book". 

Pride and Prejudice

Of course… y'all know it's my favorite book. I think all of Jane Austen's books have a lot to teach about human nature. Some of my favorite aspects of her books are how she shows who people really are by what they say, the relationships that she creates between people (not necessarily romantic but also familial) and her strong sense of right and wrong. In Pride and Prejudice, I especially love the witty lines and how it portrays the relationship between Elizabeth and her father. I love all of Austen's other books but especially Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. 

The Lord of the Rings

Another of my very favorites. In this book Tolkien created an incredible whole new world that is breathtakingly beautiful from the majesty of Minias Tirith to the simpleness of the Shire. I also enjoyed The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. 

David Copperfield

Dickens is considered one of the greatest authors in history. His characters and stories are timeless. David Copperfield isn't my favorite Dickens but I do think it is probably his best. I also enjoy Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby and Dombey and Son. I know Great Expectations is also considered very great but I watched the movie when I was young and Miss Havishman freaked me out so I couldn't enjoy the book as much after that. 

To Kill a Mockingbird

To be honest, I've only read this once, and I don't very clearly remember the book… though I do remember liking it. However, I very vividly remember the movie as one of my favorite movies ever. This is a great story that goes deeply into issues that still face the world today. 

The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechism

This made a big impact in my life when I read it during high school as it helped me understand a lot more about what I believe and why it is true. I believe it to be a great tool to help Christians understand what the Bible says… though definitely not a substitute for the Bible.

Killer Angels

I thought I should include something historical as well and I consider this to be one of my very favorite historical novels. It concerns the War between the States. One of my favorite aspects of it is how it shows both sides of the war, allowing you to see and sympathize with the various historical figures. 

The Taming of the Shrew

Okay… this probably isn't Shakespeare's best or most famous… but it's my favorite of his works and I thought some Shakespeare should be included on this list because, well, he is kind of an famous and impactful author. I enjoy his other writings as well… especially Much Ado about Nothing

This was an incredibly hard list to make. I had to not think only of what my favorite books are, but what are books that I think important to read. Obviously this isn't an exhaustive list, as there are so many other great books out there that I would highly encourage people to read, but I think this is a good start with a mix of fun and humorous to serious and thought provoking. Again, please comment and let me know what you would consider the the top eight books everyone should read in their lifetime.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Meaning of My Name

Today I’m linking up with Mama Kat to tell you about the meaning of my name and whether or not if fits my personality. First off, a little history about my name. I was NOT named after Lois Lane and you do not get bonus points for referencing Lois Lane with me… you get negative points. I’ve just heard it a few times too many. I WAS named after the Lois from the bible. 2 Timothy 1:5 is the only place my name is in the bible. It reads, “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure it is in you as well.” So really we don’t know much about Lois except that she had a sincere faith… which is really what is important anyways. ☺ So what does Lois mean? Battle Maiden! When I was younger and a very ardent tomboy I milked that meaning for all it was worth. I’ve kind of grown past that stage now, don’t worry. Now, though, looking at that meaning at first glance I would say “no, definitely not me.” However, I believe if you look deeper into the meaning, you can take something else away from it then swords, knights, and war in the traditional sense. Now, I look at the meaning and know that Lois means Battle Maiden, and realize that I am a battle maiden, fighting for God’s truth daily with my mind and my words. This also really fits well with the little we know of the Lois in the bible that I was named after. So I am Lois, Battle Maiden of the Lord. ☺
Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Review- The Pursuit of God

Recently I read A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God. I downloaded it on my Kindle last spring and then never looked at it again. However, when I finished up The History of the Lord of the Rings I suddenly found myself at school with no book on hand to read (well technically I guess I did because I was in a library but that's beside the point). So I looked through what I had on my Kindle and saw The Pursuit of God and decided to read it. I really didn't know anything about it before I read it. I had just heard the title recommended before and it was a free download so I thought why not?

First off, I really, really enjoyed the book. It is quite short, but is packed with as much wisdom and truth as books twice its length. The great thing about it was that despite being quite theologically deep, it was still easy to read. I am glad I read it on my phone as I do not as a rule mark up books. However, with reading it on my phone I could highlight to my heart's content… and I did. Unfortunately, my not very tech savvy self didn't figure out to highlight until halfway through the book so I'll have to re-read it to make sure I highlight all I wanted to… oh rats! ;) Since, I did highlight so much, I am providing you with some great quotes from it. I hope they inspire you to read it and that you will enjoy it as much as I did. If you've read it before you'll know that there are many great quotes that I left out… some because they needed a whole lot more context to understand what they're saying and others because, there were just too many!

"Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice."
""In the beginning God."Not matter, for matter is not self-causing. It requires an antecedent cause, and God is that cause. In the beginning God, the uncaused Cause of matter, mind and law. There we must begin."

"Important as it is that we recognize God working in us, I would yet warn against a too great preoccupation with the thought. It is a sure road to sterile passivity. God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, "O Lord, Thou Knowest." Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God's omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians but it will never make saints." 

"God never made salvation depend upon new moons nor holy days or sabbaths. A man is not nearer to Christ on Easter Sunday than he is, say, on Saturday, August 3, or Monday October 4. As long as Christ sits on the mediatorial throne every day is a good day and all day are days of salvation." 

"Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find him there."

"Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry." 

Such great quotes! If for any reason you are confused by what they say… sometimes you need context but I tried to only continue the ones that didn't... then contact me and I can try and explain them to you. If you are confused by them theologically, well I can try and explain them to you then too. Final point…. read the book! :)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Monthly Resolutions- November 2013

I have two tests this month! One this coming Monday and one right after Thanksgiving (if ever I am a teacher I will NEVER do that to my students). Prayers appreciated! :)
So resolutions!

Read the Johns, Jude, and Revelation

Read or Re-Read at least 10 books

Why so many? Well way back in the day (otherwise known as the beginning of the year) I made a goal on Goodreads to read 50 books… I have currently read only thirty so if I want to complete that goal I need to read twenty more books… ten this month and ten next month. It's really just a simple matter of mathematics. ;) The math may be simple but me reading that many books with this busy of a schedule isn't so simple. However, that's what I'm going to have to do so bring it on!
For fun, I made a deal with two of my little siblings this evening. They each picked me out a book to read and I picked them each out a book to read and we have until next Saturday at midnight to complete them. It really just started out as a ploy to get my sister to read a harder book but it turned out giving me two books I have to finish by the end of next week. Not hard books, but still. To make sure we actually get it done, if you don't finish your books, you give the other person a pack of gum (we're kind of gumaholics in our family so gum is our currency of choice). 

Write a blog post per week

Pray Daily

Failed last month but doing it this month. I remember last November and I've seen it popping up this November too people were daily posting things they were thankful for on Facebook. I want to incorporate that into my prayer time as well… taking the time to thank God for all he has given me. 

Study

Two tests… I've got to study. :)

Memorize some scripture

I'm thinking Psalm 31 but I'm also thinking that there is no way I'll get the whole of that memorized in a month… so my goal is at least to get started on it… a few verses or something. 

No free time this month!
Linking up with Keli at She Learns as She Goes

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Monthly Report Card- October 2013

It's been a crazy, long yet short October. Yesterday was Reformation Day. Normally my family would have a cookout and read the story of Martin Luther but it's been raining for the last few days so that didn't happen. However, we were able to watch half of the movie Luther instead. Does your family have any Reformation Day traditions?
So resolutions…. yeah…

Read through Philemon, Hebrews, James, and 1&2 Peter-A

Yes I did! I had a freak out moment where I thought I was supposed to get through the Johns as well and started reading 1 John but then I looked at my resolutions again and realized it was not so. :)

Read or Re-read at least three books-A

Achieved…. just barely. I read The Pursuit of God, The End of the Third Age,  and Mere Christianity. If you know anything about those books you'll know they're very skinny short books. Kind of wimpy reading this month but at least I read! HOWEVER, do not underestimate those books! They were all very good, especially The Pursuit of God. I highly recommend it. 

Write a blog post per week-A

Achieved! Probably not very interesting posts but one can't ask for everything now can they?

Pray Daily-F

When I say F I mean F. It was a failure in the highest extent. Need to whip that goal back into shape next month!

Study!-C

I don't feel like I did so well the first half of the month but the second half I did better. I had a conversation with my tutor from A&P/Microbiology/Pathophysiology (best tutor ever) and she told me more or less I needed to get my act together and work harder if I wanted to do well. I needed that. She's the best. :)

Stay more organized-A

I think I did quite well with that. I have some gel pens now that I have way to much fun using to write in assignments and stuff in my calendar. :) 

Keep up with my Spanish-C

Okay… I ended up stopping getting the Spanish devotionals as they were beginning to clutter up my inbox as I never had time to get to them. So not so good. Maybe someday when I have more time (like that's ever going to happen). 

Not too terribly this months for goals but room for improvement. It's been incredibly busy and I really didn't make it any better by deciding to start watching Doctor Who (which is amazing and you should become obsessed with it too). However, I made a very mature decision to not start the next season until my next test is over… which is this coming Monday so I really don't have to wait that long but it seems like a long time to me. Does anyone know the Doctor Who withdrawal symptoms? I'm pretty sure I'm experiencing some… anxiety, depression, moodiness…. ;)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.
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