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Posts Tagged ‘Tangled’

This weekend Maine Bible Quizzing hosted its District Finals tournament. At it, the teens compete to see who goes on to the Regional tournament. Some of the kids who got busy and dropped out of the program return and at the end of the evening have a banquet (which for some of our homeschooling seniors is about as close to prom as they can get). So this was not a tournament I could miss. Yet I had conflicted dates. Sunday at 1:30 my friend was having a bridal shower in Virginia—fourteen hours away.

I settled on staying at the quiz until 3ish and then heading to New York. Sunday morning I got up and drove the rest of the way to the bridal shower, arriving a whole ten minutes early. I am really glad I made those arrangements. I would not have wanted to miss the quiz.

The youth were so much fun. I was an official, working with an old rival and friend–Scott. From Veggie Tale questions to Disney questions together we tried to make the time when the kids were not competing as much fun as possible. What came out of it was this gorgeous flower chalk drawing (I do not know who to give credit to, but it was one of the teens) that is reminiscent of the one in Disney’s Tangled. Props to whoever is responsible.

But as much fun as all that was it paled in comparison to the worship times we had. Usually I lead a singing time on Friday night with my guitar. This quiz we squeezed in two additional opportunities for the kids to worship in song. The last one was at lunch time. I pulled out my guitar and started playing. Instantly, the youth started to move in around me. Though they only have 40-ish minutes for lunch, they spent more than half of it in praise of God. To hear their voices willingly raised in worship of the Creator was incredible!

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A friend and I decided that last night was the perfect opportunity for a girl’s movie night, so after dinner we bought excessive amounts of junk food and watched in Tangled. Sometimes it is the simple things that make the wonderful memories… Like last weekend’s Bible Quiz Retreat. My dear pen-pal Abi and her family came up from Virginia and she was able to be my co-official. Together we bribed students with oreos and chips-ahoys to sing, dance and act their answers. It was pretty much awesome. By far my favorite memory was in the middle of the semi-finals, one of the students (perhaps my number 1 fan) asked me to ask a bunch of Issym-related questions instead of normal practice questions. I could have gone on like that for hours…

I received a letter today with a payment and a donation for Rebirth Publishing. Donations always revive in me a courage I forget in the long-stretches of everyday authorship and publishing. A kind word and a small blessing can add incalculable blessings to other people’s lives. I hope to bless others as I have been blessed.

These little, almost everyday things, are my favorite memories. Those are types of things I remember from college too. The simple experience of having an almost-stranger sit on my lap to perfect my makeup for my first Formal ever… going to Chick-Fil-A close to midnight… talking before accounting class… And its the simple things that make books soar. The quiet conversations between friends, the laughter of stress-relievers, the joy of happy endings… getting to experience the real-life of characters is what makes readers most happy. This is why the character who offers comic-relief is almost always an audience favorite. When I wrote Issym I worked so hard not to get stuck in the rut of boring teenage books. I probably cut more of the everyday life out than I should have to keep teenage melodrama from touching my precious work. In Asandra I allowed realities–good, bad and mediocre–to be weaved in and it made for a much better product. The book felt so much more alive.

I may be able to write this post about the value of simple times, but of course I want my life to be dramatic. A night in seems boring–but that’s where memories are made, where the opportunity for conversations that will shake the foundations of my life occur, where character is built. So despite my recent, desperate need to break free from small-town Maine I am going to try to enjoy the wonderful blessings of simplicity–because it won’t last forever…

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