Red light, Green light & The Growth In Between

Hiya guys, Brooke here. I'm one one of Jessica's crazy roomies /life-walk with Jesus partners and I'm logging in as a guest blogger for just a minute. I know this is something new and different, but here goes nothing. Recently I have had quite a few changes in my life and some big decisions I had to make. To be honest, I'm not a patient person, and I want multiple signs to know what God is leading me to. Over Easter, I drove to my grandparents to meet up with my family, knowing that no matter what, it was what I needed to get some weight off my shoulders. On my way back to Stephenville, I drove through Lampasas, which is notorious for having a ton of lights. As I drove through town, all I could see were green lights reaching about a mile through town. Normally I wouldn't think twice about this, but that day it really hit me. I felt God giving me the green light. That job? Green light. That calling? Green light. That house? Green light. That possible love interest? Green light. But then came the yellow light. Although he has good things in store and he approves, I have a tendency of rushing ahead.
Like today, Jessica and I went to HEB to pick up my prescription. As I was searching for a spot I saw one right up front and immediately was happy and drove faster so I wouldn't lose it.. Low and behold I had to wait on 3-4 pedestrians and a handful of cars, frustrating to say the least. But, in that moment I felt God telling me "I have good things in store, and I might give you a glimpse, but you have to be patient," and that was huge for me. 

So wherever you are and whatever wait you are facing, I want to encourage you, God is there. You are not forgotten. While green lights are good, the pause and growth you experience during the yellow lights is just as valuable. Likewise, God may place something wonderful in your path such as a job opportunity or a possible new relationship, but you have to be patient. Just because he shows you something and doesn't bring it to pass in that exact moment, doesn't mean all hope is lost. We serve a God who cares and who has PERFECT timing for every aspect of our lives. So please, recognize the green lights, but also enjoy the yellow lights, and be patient and trust God to give you what he has promised you. Don't settle. Nothing comes close to God's best, I promise.

Life Update Part 1

Soooo I always post saying I'm going to post more, and that never actually happens. Life gets crazy and that's all I can say about why I haven't posted regularly. And surprisingly, unlike last semester, it's a good kind of crazy. I mean I'm still not doing too great in school, BUT I'm honestly the happiest I've ever been in my life. I've managed to meet some amazing people and become very close very fast. And you might be thinking, "ohhhh Jessica finally got a man!", but that's a negative. I've made two friends that I'm just going to go ahead and publicly announce (lololol) that they're my best friends and two of the greatest people that have come into my life. Because of them I have found my church home, which I've been struggling to find a church home since I came to college. 

I had been praying, probably since high school, that one day I would have friends that had the same beliefs and values as me. And let me tell you that has been such a big struggle in my life. I was always surrounded by the people that didn't quite match my heart. I'm not saying those people were bad people, they were not all bad. They just didn't have the matching puzzle piece that I needed. Then, on a random Sunday morning I got sick of everything. I was listening to worship music and just cleaning my house and decided I needed to find a church home. One person popped into my mind while I was thinking that. So I randomly slid into her Facebook DMs, asking her what church and bible study she went to here. She responded in exactly an hour with all the details and I decided that week I'd go. So on that Wednesday, February 8, I attended TROC for the very first time. The moment I walked in I felt at home. I was greeted with smiles and everything just made me feel so welcomed and safe. Which is something I really needed. The next day I went to life group with this friend. Something people should know about me is that I'm a pretty shy person. I've gotten better, but I'm not the one to voluntarily speak in a group of strange people I just met. But that night I just felt comfortable and I did talk. I talked about something that was currently going on in my life that the sermon seemed to match perfectly. To me this all felt like a sign, that I was meant to be there and that I was supposed to be with these people. I was so thankful afterwards that my friend, that at this point we didn't even know each other that well, had invited me along with her. I will forever be thankful to her for that. 

A few weeks later my friend had brought another friend with her to TROC. We worshiped  and listened to the sermon, and then afterwards we were just standing around talking. I'm a little awkward around new people, but this girl randomly just started dancing after the service. We were having a full on awkward dance party at church together. That moment I knew that she was someone I wanted to be friends with. That night when I got home, I sat on my floor and just burst into tears. I was so happy. God had answered my prayers. I finally had the people in my life that I had been asking for. I continued to just sit on my floor and pray and thank God. 

I was about to take a shower and texted my friend thanking her for allowing me to join her to church and for being in my life. I explained that I had been praying for christian friends and for good friends for so long and that I was so so incredibly thankful and happy for her coming into my life. (me sliding into the DMs). As soon as I turned on the shower I got a phone call. I looked at my phone and my friends name popped up. I answered quickly, but it wasn't my original friend on the phone, it was the friend that had come with her to TROC that night. And she said very loudly, " Jessica! I'll be your friend too!" We had a short, but very excited conversation about being friends, and as soon as I got off the phone I was overcome with so much joy and happiness. I called my mom and as soon as she answered I started crying, again. She thought something had happened and that I was hurt, but I quickly said between sobs, "Mom, I have friends. I finally have friends." Then she started crying and telling me she was so happy and that she had been praying as well. Our prayers had been answered. And they continue to be answered. These two crazy girls, that came into my life from a random facebook message, continue to shine bright in my life. We continue to grow closer to God in our journey of friendship. They have held me when I've cried and had me laughing so hard I thought I had done an ab work out. I am the happiest I have ever been.

I am so blessed to have these two friends in my life. We have had many late night talks about God, love, and life and I have never had such a connection with friends like this in my life. Ya'll are the friends I have been praying and waiting for. And soon to be roommates. I love you both so much and thank you a million times for simply being my friends. 

Proverbs 21:9 
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.

I love you Brooke and Megan and cannot wait to see what our futures have in store for us! 




This or That Tag



Hey guys! I decided to do a little tag that I found on the interwebs because I haven't been posting on here as often as I'd like. So get ready for some tag posts in the near future as well! All photos used are not mine, I found them on pinterest. :) 




Physical book or e-book?
PHYSICAL BOOK. If you know me in real life you know how much I dislike e-books. I have to feel a book, and smell it, and you cannot do that with an e-book. Sometimes I wish I liked e-books just because it's cheaper and faster than going to a book store. But I just can't. 



Audio or book in hand?
Book in hand. My mind wanders too much with audio and I'll start doing everything that I actually need to get done. 

Paperback or hardcover?

 Both! Paperback because it's cheaper, and hardcover because they are so pretty and easier to display on my shelves. 

Adult or Young Adult?

Young Adult.

Series or standalone?

There are soo many good series out there, but I'm gunna have to go with standalone. 
Dog ears or bookmarks?
I'm guilty of dog earring a few books. Please don't kill me. But I do prefer bookmarks. 

Breaking the spine or barely opening the book?

Breaking the spine. I love it. and I know so many people hate this and think it's sooo terrible, but I gotta be able to see the words! 

"Spending this Saturday reading as much of 'Throne of Glass' as possible so I can move on to 'Crown of Midnight' if I decide to continue with this series. (Hopefully I will because I really want to love this series ) If I don't, I will read another Sarah J. Maas book that I just bought, 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' the cover is so pretty  { <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23bookstagram" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23bookstagram&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#bookstagram search Pinterest">#bookstagram</a> <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23currentlyreading" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23currentlyreading&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#currentlyreading search Pinterest">#currentlyreading</a> <a class="pintag" href="/explore/books/" title="#books explore Pinterest">#books</a> <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23bookworm" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23bookworm&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#bookworm search Pinterest">#bookworm</a> <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23ya" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23ya&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#ya search Pinterest">#ya</a> <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23booknerd" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23booknerd&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#booknerd search Pinterest">#booknerd</a> <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23throneofglass" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23throneofglass&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#throneofglass search Pinterest">#throneofglass</a> <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23sarahjmaas" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23sarahjmaas&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#sarahjmaas search Pinterest">#sarahjmaas</a> <a class="pintag searchlink" data-query="%23epicreads" data-type="hashtag" href="/search/?q=%23epicreads&rs=hashtag" rel="nofollow" title="#epicreads search Pinterest">#epicreads</a> }"
Borrow or buy?
BUY. Once I read a book it becomes a part of me and I cannot give it up. It must stay with me. Along with that I don't lend out books. 
Bookstore or online?
I LOVE bookstores. They just relax me and I can spend hours in a bookstore. But buying books online is a whole lot cheaper, so I usually stick with purchasing the majority of my books online. 



Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction. I'm just not the biggest fan of non-fiction. 
 Fantasy world or real life issues?
So hard to pick. I read both!! It really just depends on how I'm feeling. 

Kindle, iPad, or other?

Can I say none? I own both an ipad and a nook, and I just don't use them. I've had my ipad for 4 years and can count on one hand how many times I've actually used it. And the same for my nook but I've had it for almost 6 years! 

Monster read or short & sweet?

Depends on my mood. Sometimes you just need a short and sweet book to get through quickly and other times you need a monster read to dive into. 

Starry-eyed romance or full of action?

Romance. BUT my favorite is a book with both! Kicking butt, but also falling in love at the same time? Yes please. Some more Fangirl fanart. I loved this scene. Also if youve read the book, its definitely been one of THOSE weeks. So yeah. This was a fun reprieve. Just want to draw noodley dancing people all the time now.:

Curl up in a Snuggie or bathe in the sun?

Bathe in the sun!!!! I love laying out in the sun with a good book! Especially during the spring time! 
Read the review or decide for yourself?

Decide for myself. But I do watch a lot of reviews on booktube and purchase a lot of my books because of that.

                                                         Zombies or unicorns?
                                    Unicorns because zombies scare the crap out of me. 




Here is the link to the original post I found with this tag! Lauren Reads YA

March Uppercase Unboxing

Hello! Back again with another Uppercase Unboxing, since that seems to be all I do on here now. But HOPEFULLY that will change and I'll start posting more consistently about other things. 

I honestly did not think I was going to get my box this month because I never got a shipping email and I was so so so bummed. UNTIL, I stopped being lazy and went out and checked the mail today and found my box and then ran into my house, hoping my neighbors wouldn't see me 'cause ya girl was a mess this morning. 
This month we got socks!! I LOVE socks and they're Jane Austen socks, sooo that's 100x better than normal socks!! (I'll stop saying socks now) They are super cute and I cannot wait to wear them, but I'm also scared to get them dirty 😂 Next, we got a sticker that says "Book Hoarder" and has the most adorable little dragon on it. I also put it on my laptop as soon as I got done taking the picture of everything together. The last major item in this months box was a really pretty gold foil print of classic books. It so beautiful and it's definitely going to go in a frame. (from Bella Adele Co.) 

So the book for March is... Hunted by Meagan Spooner! And it is a signed copy. This book is absolutely perfect for the month of March because it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and as just about everyone knows Beauty and the Beast came out this month! (unless you live under a rock, then sorry for the spoiler) Along with the book we got a Hunted bookmark and the usual reading experience bookmark that we get every month with Uppercase. 

I cannot wait to dive into this book soon! Thanks again Uppercase!! 💙

Since I've had a lot of people get really annoyed with me posting my blog on my Facebook, I'm no longer going to be sharing anything on there after this post. If you would like to get notifications when I put up a new blog post go ahead and subscribe. :)  

Review of By Your Side by Kasie West (No Spoilers)

*HOLY CRAP AN ACTUAL BOOK REVIEW*
Listening to: How Would You Feel (Paean) by Ed Sheeran 

Yes, I did finally get through my terrible reading slump and finally read a book! 
Side note I literally just finished this book so this might not make sense at all, but I'm going to keep going with it because ow my heart. 

By Your Side by Kasie West. I've honestly had this book on my most anticipated reads of 2017 list and was so excited when I got it that I started reading it right then and there. This is the story of a girl (smash mouth anyone lol sorry) who gets stuck in a library over a 4 day weekend, the story of a girl who learns to accept herself, the story of a girl that struggles with anxiety and depression, and the story of a girl who falls in love. 

Set in the Provo Library in Utah, Autumn manages to get stuck in the library over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. She was meant to be leaving with a big group of friends to go camping, but had to run to the bathroom really fast, which resulted in her friends leaving her at the library, locked inside alone. But she ends up, after having a major freak out, finding out that she's not alone in the library.  Dax, whom she recognizes from school is also "locked" inside. Dax is the guy at school that has the bad reputation, but doesn't even talk to anyone or feel the need to correct any of the false rumors. He's also pretty freakin hot. Basically a hot loner with some pretty big issues. 

That's all I'm going to sum up about this book, which is only just the very beginning, because I will end up giving EVERYTHING away if I continue. SO MUCH HAPPENS. A lot of unexpected things, so read this book!!! 

This book is amazing and made my heart feel all the things it's been needing to feel lately. Autumn is such a relatable character to those of us who do suffer from anxiety and the struggle of anxiety was represented so well in this book. I connected with Autumn's character so much because just like her, I struggle in crowds, confined places, and simply saying "no" to people because I don't want anyone to hate me. I really really recommend this book to anyone that struggles with anxiety because your story is out there and is being told. I also just recommend this book in general because it was such a cute contemporary read that made my heart so so happy. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because it made me happy and I had too many emotions while reading this book.  ❤❤❤❤ Thank you Kasie West for giving my heart all the feels. 




February Uppercase Unboxing

Happy (late) Valentines Day!!
I have been very very very sick since Saturday so I spent my Valentines day curled up on my couch with my pup watching Friends and ended the day with a trip to the hospital because I just wasn't getting any better. I've now got lots of antibiotics and meds to get me better! 

When I found out that Uppercase was partnering with EpicReads for the February box, I kind of freaked out a little bit. I was so so excited because I love EpicReads! This months book is .... By Your Side by Kasie West!!! Again this is a book that was on my list because who wouldn't want to get stuck in a library?! (my number one dream)  This is an Uppercase Hardcover Edition and it is signed by Kasie West! And I may or may not have gotten carried away when I opened my box and just started reading it... oops. The second item I grabbed out of the cute Valentines Edition "bag/box" was Pride and Peppermint Tea!! THANK GOD BECAUSE NOW I DON'T HAVE TO DRAG MY SICK SELF TO THE STORE FOR MORE PEPPERMINT TEA!!! Tea and Pride and Prejudice are just two of the very many things I love and putting them together makes me a very happy girl! I've also gone ahead and started steeping a cup. Lets just say I rushed taking the photo this month because I was too excited for everything. Next bookish item was a Valentine Card from EpicReads that says "I'd share my books with you." This is very cute, but I currently would not share my books with anyone so this is the PERFECT bookmark :) This month to keep the theme of Valentines Day we got a laptop sticker that says "I <3 YA", which is super cute and very very fitting. The last item I pulled out of my box this month was a Sherlock Holmes 221B Key Necklace, which I LOVE and already plan on wearing it everyday because who doesn't love Sherlock Holmes?! 

This months Uppercase Box was absolutely PERFECT. Yall have just been on point since I subscribed and I cannot wait for the many more months to come! If you love YA, new releases, signed books, and bookish things you definitely need to check out Uppercase!! They have been so lovely and every month is like Christmas! http://uppercasebox.com/


Life Literacy Map

This post is actually for an assignment in my Children's Literature class (READ 3301).  I decided to make it a blog post because it's about books/experiences with literature,  and how they have shaped our literacy lives. This might get kind of weird for some because I have decided to be 100% personal and to just release everything that has maybe been held in for awhile. So if you want to know a whole lot about how literature has shaped me then keep on reading! And if not that's cool too!
This is also not really in any particular order. I just started with the books that jumped out to me first and built off of that!

Title: Wuthering Heights, Author: Charlotte Bronte

 1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
So like most people I had to read this book for my honors english class in high school, but unlike everyone in my class I completely fell in love with this book. Which is a little weird to say because it's pretty dark and kind of creepy at some parts, but the love story just sucked me in. I've always been a sucker for a good love story, most likely because of my insanely terrible luck in that department. Wuthering Heights was the book that started my crazy obsession with classic literature and made me realize just how amazing the writing and speech was back then. Wuthering Heights will forever have my heart and I will always read it (currently going on 10 rereads since high school). The story of Catherine and Heathcliff opened my eyes and heart so so much and if you haven't read Wuthering Heights and don't mind creepy classic love stories I really recommend reading it right away!


 2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

Because I was so obsessed with Wuthering Heights, my mom recommended that I read Pride and Prejudice. But I was so terrible to my poor mother in high school and did the complete opposite of what my mom told me to do, I didn't read Pride and Prejudice until about two years ago. I really regret not reading this book when my mom told me to because it's simply amazing and one of the best books I've read. I think everyone needs to read Jane Austen just because I think we could learn a thing or two from her characters, but if you don't want to read all of her books just start with Pride and Prejudice and you'll most likely get dragged into the Jane Austen world. When I actually got to read this book, I think it was love at first sight. I connected so much with Elizabeth Bennet and could not put this book down! This book also gave me some hope for the future because me being so much like Elizabeth Bennet, I'd hope that one day I'll find my Mr. Darcy who will love me even though I'm complicated, sometimes a brat, and very independent. 


Fangirl

 3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 

So this is where things are probably going to get a little personal and you can totally skip this and move on to number 5 (number 4 is going to tie into this one a bit). 

I read Fangirl about a year and a half maybe two years ago I think, and I have read it again countless times. This is the book that can absolutely get me through anything and it has. When I read this book I was going through a pretty rough time that no one knew about and that I recently (maybe 7 months ago) got comfortable enough to tell my mom about. I've always struggled with liking myself and self love and all of that very important stuff, but during this time I sunk extremely low because I was alone and I constantly compared myself to those I saw on social media and around me, and ended up developing a full on eating disorder. And those of you that know about eating disorders it's a constant struggle and roller coaster, so I'm still on that ride just going up currently. I also didn't leave my house for weeks and I was living alone and trying to go to college. I ordered a bunch of books online and Fangirl was one of them. Now Cath, the main character, did not have an eating disorder in the book, but she did live off of granola bars while in her freshman year of college because she didn't know where the dinning hall was and was too scared to ask anyone for help. I never in my life up to this point actually connected to a character and book so much. When I was reading Fangirl it was almost like Rainbow Rowell had somehow knew my life and struggles I was facing in college and wrote this book about my own life. I strongly believe that because I read Fangirl while I was facing similar situations and an eating disorder, and that I finally found a character that was exactly like me, that this book pulled me out of that place, made me snap out of it, and get help. I basically owe everything to Rainbow Rowell because her book pretty much saved my life. 




The Selection (Selection Series #1)

 4. The Selection series by Kiera Cass 

So tying into number 3, these were the other books I ordered when I also ordered Fangirl. I started this series right after I read Fangirl and I was and will forever be obsessed with these books. There are two more books in this series but they were not out yet when I got the first three. The Selection brought me so much happiness during that rough time and like Fangirl I connected so so much to the main character, America Singer. Not her looks or talents but just her personality and the way she is awkward and handles certain situations. Reading this series gave me so much joy, happiness, and hope. And they also just occupied my mind with other things and gave me the perfect escape for a little while. This is a "love story" and dystopian, which are a few of my favorite things when it comes to books. Like I said above I'm just a sucker for a good love story. The way I describe these books to people is The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor. It'll make you laugh, yell, and cry all within a few hundred pages. Kiera Cass is amazing and I feel like I owe her so so much just because she wrote these books and I was able to find them and enjoy them so much! 


 

5. After by Anna Todd

I'm going to just start this one with saying its a romance series, and I mean it's a little intense and I had no warning before hand so I just sat there and hid what I was reading from every single person around me. Also, Anna Todd wrote it with One Direction in mind, but none of the characters even resemble One Direction so it's a little odd. I read this book two years ago during Christmas break and I screamed and cried so much at the ending of this book, that my mom thought I was dying. I also made my mom wake up at 5am with me and go to Barnes and Noble right when they opened to buy the rest of the books, which they ended up being out of and I had to order them off of Amazon and wait for what felt like years. I think Hardin, the "love interest" is pretty mentally abusive, but that's just my opinion. The ending killed me though and I now own every single one of these ridiculously large books. I really don't recommend reading this book unless you're over the age of 18 and really feel like getting really angry at a book. It's still good though! 







6. Sarah Dessen

Shout out to Sarah Dessen for continuously setting my expectations way too high! Thanks for that girl! But seriously ALL of her books are the best. The first one I picked up was Along for the Ride when I was in the 8th grade and I have been addicted ever since. Sarah Dessen's books were the first YA "romance" books I ever read and I've been hooked on reading about other people's love lives since then. I have all of them on my shelves and I still get so excited when Sarah releases a new book. I might be her biggest fan because my obsession is so real. Please sign all my books?

7. Marika by Andrea Cheng

On top of reading other people's love stories, I am obsessed with history and always really have been. My mom order Marika by Andrea Cheng, along with other stories about children during the Holocaust, for me from the Scholastic book fair when I was in the second grade. We would read them together every night and Marika is what started my obsession with learning about World War II. From there it was done, and I started only getting books about the Holocaust and WWII from the library. I honestly do not remember all of this book, but I do currently have it along with the others my mom order from me on one of my book shelves and they have moved everywhere with me. 


8. American Girl Books, specifically Felicity and Kit 

Like most girls when I was in elementary (and middle school, shh) I was all about everything American Girl. Although a lot of the girls only wanted the dolls, I really loved the books. Whenever we would go to the library I would always try to grab at least one American Girl Book. My favorites were Felicity and Kit. Felicity was set during The American Revolution and Kit was set during The Great Depression and being the History geek, I am obsessed with learning and reading about both. These silly little stories about young girls going through these time periods actually got me into History and honestly helped me learn so much and I still remember them to this day and I'm now 22 years old. 

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1)Catching Fire (Hunger Games Series #2)Title: Mockingjay (Hunger Games Series #3), Author: Suzanne Collins

9. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins 

Everyone has either read The Hunger Games or seen the movies by now. I read the first book when I was a freshman in High School and got hooked. I'm including them in my Life Literacy Map because they were the first YA dystopian books I read, and started my love for dystopian novels. I think these books are so great, and I'm pretty sure the world agrees with me.  Katniss is the perfect character for younger girls, and boys, to look up to! 

NIV Holy Bible, Large Print
10. The Bible

I am a Christian and I do read and strongly believe in The Bible. It is what I turn to for everything in life and I wake up an extra hour early to read my bible every morning. My parents took us to church every sunday and made sure that The Bible was in our lives at a very young age. Some of my earliest memories are of my brother and I in sunday school and sitting with my mom in the smallest church in a tiny town in Missouri before we moved to Texas and started going to a very large church. I think it's very important that I include The Bible in my Life Literacy Map because my faith is such a large part of who I am. 




*All photos are from Barnesandnoble.com