New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve never done New Year’s resolutions, since I’ve never really seen the value in them and am always striving to become a better version of myself anyway (more Christ-like). Plus, they seem kind of cliché. However, for the sake of a blog post and recording my subconscious goals on paper…ah, the screen…we are doing this. And then at the end of the year, we’ll do a review of how well I met these goals.

Grow Closer to God

The obvious goal and the entire goal of my life. Since I want to be able to measure up to this in 365 days, I’m going to put this into a more tangible form. I want to be reaching for God in any and all circumstances. I want to be praising him, pleading for His help, and everything else in between, no matter what’s going on. Knowing Him more (reading His word) will definitely help, as well as just making it a habit to be praying all the time. I’ve already found this increasing in my life because of the new friends I have now. However, I want to see this become permanent and something I do no matter if I have the same encouragement or not.

Work on Relationships

With more privilege comes greater responsibility. Recently, the Lord has blessed me with several new friendships. One of them bloomed super quickly and just took off into the sky like the fireworks in the picture above. The others sprouted more steadily. There’s a lot of potential, and I’m both excited and scared to see where they go.

This year, I want to focus on being a good friend, nurturing the relationships the Lord has blessed me with, and being an encouraging person who causes others glorify the Lord and builds up her friends through profitable speech. I’m not sure how I will measure this at the end of the year. However, I do know the things I want to do more: listen, learn, and love.

For listening, I want to hear what people have to say. Whether that be joyful news, prayer requests, or just a rant, I want to give whoever it is my full attention and just show that I care. (And if I say I’ll pray for them, I really mean it. I pray right then and there and then some afterwards.)

For learning, everyone’s got some wisdom or experiences I can learn from. I love hearing stories from older (or even younger) people and knowing their thoughts and opinions on what happened. Seeing things through other people’s perspectives is so refreshing. I want to take whatever I can learn from these people, follow their examples of Christ-like behavior, and just let the Lord speak through them.

For loving, I want to be more…loving. Each person is different. Every person has their weaknesses and strengths. Learning to love them through their flaws and preferences can be difficult, and I want to get better at letting my own selfishness go in order to serve other people. 1 Corinthians talks about what love is, and it’s a whole lot of things I am naturally not. As a Christian, I want to become more like Jesus and let His light shine through me, but I know this is going to be a difficult one—especially with people I don’t get along well with.

Step up My Social Game

I don’t do the best in social situations. I hate small talk, and my first instinct upon meeting anyone (especially a guy) is to push them away and make them not like me. This is obviously not a good place to be in. I find myself regretting the way I react in the moment when I actually have time to think—especially if the person was going out of their way to be friendly and nice to me, because I really do appreciate it.

Anyway, since I got a job as a CSR (customer service representative) at Pizza Hut, I’m definitely going to be put in many social situations. Everything is pretty casual. During the rush (which is when I’ll be scheduled), there will be many customers to interact with, both in person and on the phones. Outside of the rush, everything is pretty laid back. Some of my coworkers are really friendly, and I hope to get to know them better and maybe even make some acquaintances.

Write and Blog Consistently

Here’s a super measurable one. I want to write consistently. Whether that be in one of my WIP’s, a blog post, a journal, or an essay-like email, as long as it requires a generous measure of brain power and thought, it counts. To be extra strict on myself though, I’m going to say writing at least one word in any of my WIP’s every day. I know this will be a tough one when I’m going through the editing process.

As for the second part of this goal—blog consistently—I’ll be producing a new post every Wednesday. Currently, I have ideas planned out into May, so I’ll need to do some brainstorming before the year is over. If you guys want to see anything in particular, go ahead and write it in the comments!

Oh, and I almost forgot—my newsletter! Since adding in all the new sections and exclusive stuff you don’t see on IG or my blog, I have to put in a substantial amount of extra energy into each email. And since I send out one every week…well, hopefully I can keep up with delivering quality content to your inboxes.

Finish Filling Out My Super Secret Journal

I’m kidding. It’s not super secret, and I don’t even know if I can call it a journal. It’s a Google Docs with parchment/old paper images over each page and fancy fonts for the headings and text. The topic of the journal: my in-depth thoughts on marriage, children, relationships, and the like. It’s mostly so I can write out my opinions and thoughts and inspect them in light of Scripture. I know some girls write letters to their future husbands. I don’t do that, but I have a friend who does. I joked to her that while she’s creating something cute and adorable that she can share with her future husband, I’m making something I can dump on him before marriage to be like, “Are you sure you really want to commit to this?” 😂 Of course, assuming I actually get married. Right now, it’s just a way to self-reflect.

Publish TJB

For explanation, TJB is the abbreviation for my historical fiction WIP, The Jewish Baby. Currently, it’s in the stage of developmental editing, and I hope to get back to it after I finish writing the rough draft of my NaNo WIP. Publishing will be a huge process. Especially since I’m doing everything myself. Finishing up the novel is just the first step. Then, comes marketing. (Ah, the life of an indie author.)

Also, for those of you who don’t know, I have four WIP’s. Three are part of a fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian trilogy. The other one is a standalone historical fiction novel set in WWII. Click on the images below to learn more about the trilogy. (Each is a separate blog post covering the topic indicated on the picture.)

Start Freelancing

On February 6th, I turn 18. That means I can start working as a freelancer and easily sign the contracts that most freelancers use in order to avoid getting scammed like I may have just been. (We’ll save that for another blog post when I figure things out.) I’ve never tried freelancing, so I’m excited to get into it and start working from my computer. If things go well, it will turn into a full-time job. If things go only kind of well, it will be a source of side income. If nothing goes well at all, I’ll try to forget about it. However, freelancing has been a dream of mine for some time now, and I’m hoping it can turn into an alternative for things like working at fast food restaurants. (I’m mainly at Pizza Hut for the experience, but we’ll get into that in a few weeks.) Being able to earn money doing what I love—like writing, research, tech stuff, and design—sounds like a dream, and I’m hoping it doesn’t turn out to be just that.

Keep a More Positive Mindset

I am a natural pessimist and overthinker who is good at making anything sound depressing  and hurting her own feelings. I’m also someone who is always pushing to reach the next milestone, attain the next goal, and keep climbing. I have a difficult time seeing the small things and just living in the moment. This year, I want to be more mindful of my thoughts (taking all thoughts captive) and work on just trusting the Lord’s plan. Let’s get a little deep here.

A few months back, I was having a hard time because I couldn’t see where my life was headed. I was extrapolating where I am now into like, five years in the future and getting sad about it. (Ridiculous, I know.) Also feeling like life was a monotonous cycle that would never change. I’m not talking about my writing here. More just my life and if I’d have a family, be independent, etc. It was truly absurd—something most young adults worry about, but it’s a worldly care. I should be trusting God with my future, not falling into hopelessness.

Now I’ve come to a mindset where I’m content waiting on the Lord. I continue the cycle day in and day out. I try to serve the Lord in the small things, like helping my family. If He opens doors and opportunities, that’s great; I’ll go there. But trying not to despair and seeing the joy in the small things—God’s love in everything and everyone around me. His timing is perfect. He has everything planned out already. I just need to live in faith and follow His leading. Easier said than done, but that’s where I’m trying to be. Learning contentment, peace, and rest will all be a big part in this, and I’m already experiencing the joyous rest of laying all my burdens on Him.


I guess these are more goals than resolutions. Depending on the amount of time I have and how much of my life my new job takes up, I may or may not complete some of the bigger ones. However, I think the biggest thing is just growing closer to the Lord. If I don’t accomplish much in the world’s sense, it doesn’t matter if I’m in a better place with God. Our relationship matters above all else. Everything I’m going through now is to draw me closer to Him and to help others to do the same, so I don’t really care if I get X amount of books published in X amount of years.

But Granny, I do know you want me to publish The Jewish Baby, so I will try to do that. I will try to make sure you aren’t waiting that much longer for a real copy. There’s lots of rewriting I need to do.

I Joined a Community for Young Writers

I joined a community for young writers…and left. Let’s jump straight into the blog post.

A few months ago, my mom came across an email from The Young Writer’s Workshop, a Christian based course where young writers can learn from published individuals and interact with other writers. The email announced a 2-day event called a summit (literally just a conference), where well-known authors would speak on different writing and Christ related topics. The conference was both online and free, so I attended.

During the summit, there was a special offer: join YWW for only $1 for the first month. The membership normally costs $30+ a month, so the offer was a good deal. I took it.

For that one month, I used YWW to its full advantage. There are all kinds of resources in the content library, and anything you want to know related to books, writing, publishing, and marketing is there. Since I’d previously had a membership to another author website, I knew a lot about writing. However, publishing and marketing in this day and age is a whole new level of information. I gleaned as much as I could from the content library on YWW, and I am very thankful I could get as much as I did out of that website.

Another part of my YWW membership was the community. The community is on a separate platform managed by the YWW people, and it’s basically social media for young writers. I enjoyed my time there. I got to meet so many wonderful people, and I learned so much from other young writers like myself. I even got some help brainstorming ideas as I wrote the second book in my Fire Trials trilogy.

...And Then I Left

After the $1 trial was up, I cancelled my membership. My mom offered to pay for an entire year on the site, but after lots of praying and thinking, I finally decided to leave.

Look, I loved YWW. It has a lot of helpful information and advice, and you can interact with instructors (published authors) there. You can talk to other young writers, get feedback on your work, and help others in their writing journeys.

However, YWW is tailored to young, homeschooled Christians. There are a lot of security measures in place, and they have content warnings for everything. A lot of things like magic and drinking you can’t write about unless you add a content warning to it. Some topics you can’t even post about. Non Christians wouldn’t even think of using restrictions like these.

Honestly, these measures are there to give parents a peace of mind when letting their kids on a social media-like website. I completely understand where YWW is coming from. I’m happy that young Christian kids are able to be socialize in a healthy environment, and it’s good that parents are able to keep their children safe on the internet. 

My Reasons

Buuut…(You knew the big but was coming, didn’t you?)…I am 17. I think deeply, and I like to incorporate deep elements into my writing. Some of these elements aren’t light topics, and I understand that a lot of Christians don’t want their young children reading books with darker, more heavy themes.

To put it shortly, my audience is not the people on YDubs. I’m writing for a more general audience—in particular, non Christian teens. (“Those who are not sick have no need of a physician.” See if you can catch my meaning.) YWW is there to help you in your writing process. As I am currently working on a trilogy that deals with a lot of violence, I don’t really fit in. What I can get out of the community is limited. What I can get out of the content library I’ve already watched or read.

If the membership were free or less than $10 a month, I would have stayed. I enjoyed meeting people. I enjoyed helping them with their writing. Staying would have been mostly for the support (they even have a prayer group) and being able to uplift others in their journeys. However, I was not willing to spend—or let my parents spend—money on something I would only use occasionally. My audience is out there. I just have to find them in other places.

As for the support, some YDubbers have stuck with me through email, and I’ve found some people through Instagram. It’s so nice being able to interact with other writers and Christians. Being on YDubs has encouraged me to pursue writing seriously (in hopes of publishing a good book), and I feel a lot more confident in the direction I need to head.


I’m so thankful for the time I spent on YDubs. I got an awesome view into the world of publishing, learned from other writers, and learned more about book marketing through social media. All of this allowed me to figure out the direction I wanted to go in writing. It also allowed me to know how to pursue writing as a career. I just think YDubs wasn’t specifically for me, and if there’s another writing community out there that fits my audience, I’ll definitely try it out.

Why I Became a Christian + Struggling With Unbelief

I’m a proud follower of Jesus, and it isn’t because I have Christian parents. There’s a lot more to it than just “accepting Jesus into my heart.” In this post, I’ll be talking about why I became I Christian, as well as my struggles as a new believer.

Early Life

I grew up in a Christian household. My parents were saved when I was eight or nine, and they taught me about God. I’m not sure why, but I desired to follow the Lord, even though I didn’t really love Him. Maybe it was just something that rubbed off on me from my parents, since they are so zealous and eager to please Him.

Reality and Darkness

However, darker things were happening beneath my cheerful, carefree appearance. Spiritual reality was sinking in, and it became a dark threat that haunted me whenever I had time to think. I tried to distract my mind, knowing that without God, I was doomed.

My parents had taught me not to take life for granted. I knew the Lord was ultimately in control of my life, and he could do whatever he wanted. Just to be safe, I asked Him to save me—every night—but there was no repentance or belief behind my words.

Night Terrors

I was a very imaginative kid. For me, heaven and hell were very real. God was real. I could see evidence all around me. I knew things were a lot more complex than they appeared to be, and there was no doubt in my mind that I was headed for a bad end. This ultimately played out as night terrors. I woke up at night, feeling like I would die if I didn’t get out of my bedroom and find someone to keep me safe. From what, I wasn’t sure. I would run to my dad, and he would hug me until I was ready to go back to bed. Once, I asked him how I could be saved. He told me I just needed to trust Jesus. I wasn’t ready to do that.

As I got older, the night terrors lessened. When they did come, I waited them out alone in my bed. Deep down, I knew what was causing this constant, lingering fear, but I wasn’t ready to relinquish control. I was literally unable to.

For four or five years, this spiritual battle continued. It was mentally exhausting. I escaped by reading books and playing with my brothers and friends. I was “good.” I obeyed my parents, followed rules, and treated others nicely, so why did I need a savior? But while I had pretty much given up, God hadn’t.

Change Begins

We were at a prayer meeting when I suddenly realized how sinful I actually was. That crack of emptiness I struggled so hard to ignore turned into a full-blown pit. I realized how lost I was, how I had no ability to control my situation. I couldn’t save myself, and that left me hopeless. That night, I prayed for Jesus to forgive me. Still, there was no belief behind my words. I went to bed empty and depressed.

The next morning, my mom was talking to my brothers about salvation. I pretended to read a book nearby, but I was actually listening. Two of my brothers made professions of faith later that day. When my mom asked if anything had happened to me as well, I said no. I didn’t want to hop on the bandwagon; I wanted it to be genuine. If I was going to do this, I needed to be all in.


I don’t remember exactly what happened afterwards, but I do remember my dad trying to encourage me by singing me this part of a song:

“When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see him there, who made an end to all my sin. Because my sinless savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.”

God used those words to show me I could do nothing to save myself. Jesus was my only hope, and he was offering himself as a gift. I think that’s when I first truly believed. For the first time in my life, I was free. Someone else was in control—someone who truly cared about me and wanted what was best for my soul.

Satan’s Fight for My Life

But the battle didn’t end there. No, in fact, that’s when things really ramped up. Satan tried with all his might to win me back. He planted thoughts in my head, telling me I was imagining it. Nothing had actually happened. Jesus could never forgive me. Those “other people over there” could be Christians, but there was no way I could be like them. I suffered many long nights dealing with these thoughts. There was lots of crying and anxiety, but with God’s help, I eventually prevailed against the lies.


It has been five or six years, and I have grown a lot during that time. One of the biggest things I have learned is to not rely on my feelings. I don’t need to feel God’s closeness to know he’s there. I don’t need to “feel” saved. I know the truth, I know whom I follow, and I won’t ever give Him up. There are still seasons where I struggle with unbelief, but I know these trials will only make me stronger.


Glorify God in everything

As a Christian, I believe my aim in life is to bring glory to my creator. God has given me the gift of writing. He’s given it to me for a purpose, so I am going to use it for him. Even if I am just writing for myself (say, a journal), I want my words to praise my heavenly father.

Encourage and entertain

I want to bring joy to others. I want them to read what I write and feel encouraged and uplifted afterwards. My gift is not just for me; it is for others. Whether it encourages or entertains people, all that matters to me is that other people benefit from what I am able to give. God calls us (as his church) to help, uplift, and love one another, and I hope my writing can do that for other people.

Draw others to God

There are people out there who don’t believe what I believe, and that’s fine. However, I will do my best to share the truth through my writing.  I will use it to entrance and entice other people, hopefully leading them to see the bigger picture and the deeper meanings hidden inside. God is in control of everything. I will write what I believe he wants me to write, and he can use it how he wills. One thing I want to make sure I never do is turn people off from the gospel by being judgmental or unloving. Jesus gave me the ultimate gift of love, and that’s something I want to share with others—not hate.

Make a lasting impact

Life on earth is temporary. I will only live for a certain amount of time. I want my works to live on even when I’m gone, continuing to fulfill the purpose I’ve intended them to. I want people to remember not me, but what I stood for and whom I believed in. My life is a testimony of God’s love and faithfulness. I want people to remember that, and I want them to turn to God because of it.