“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.” (Psalm 28:7 NASB)
I stood beside the blocks waiting to get started. If I’d had boots on, I’m sure I would’ve been shaking in them. My friend stood beside me ready to start the timer for my first 500 yard freestyle.
Was I ready for this?
Sprinting had never been my thing. But was that what God wanted me to do? At least this was long-distance and I didn’t need to go fast.
I’d done long-distance before. I liked the 200 Breaststroke the best, mainly because I didn’t have to sprint all out.
But a 500? What if I got a DQ? What if my time was horrible?
The whistle blew and I climbed onto the block. My friends cheered for me and gave me “good lucks”.
God, help me do this. It was a short, but definitely sincere prayer.
“Swimmers take your mark…”
Beep! The buzzer rang.
I was off. I went slow; a nice easy pace. And after the first 50 yards I was totally into it. God gave me incredible strength and power I didn’t know I had. As I thanked Him I realized how many times I’d doubted. How many times I thought I couldn’t do something. And yet there I was, swimming the 500.
Thanks to God, the amazing Grace-Giver, I was able to get through the 500 free with no problems. And no DQs.
Although I was scared, I know He was there, smiling down on me. And if I can make Him smile, that’s good enough. No matter how good or bad I do.
It can be the same for you. Give Him your best.
Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com (read more…)
Today, instead of telling you about an adventure from my imagination, I’m going to tell you about an adventure I’ve had in my heart.
Yesterday, as we were driving to swim team, we were listening to a CD by Rush of Fools. Nothing strange, we listen to it often. But once again my imagination was soaring. I pictured myself in front of a crowd, not big but still a crowd, singing my heart out. Let’s face it, we all run away with our imaginations sometimes. But as I pictured myself singing, I also pictured people’s faces changing and them getting caught up in the song. Their lives were being changed by the words.
But something was missing. Not from the crowd, but from me. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Is my voice going out, or up?” In other words, was I singing to show the crowd, or even “help” the crowd, or was I singing that song of praise for God? Every word? Not just some? I thought about it and realized, every day I was traveling through life for me, I might have been “living for God” but I was doing it so that other people would see Him in me. Yes, I want that, but that isn’t what I should be focusing on.
I shouldn’t be a Christian for me.
I shouldn’t be a Christian for others.
I should be a Christian, a child, for God. He created me. I should belong totally and fully to Him. I mean, He died for me, the least I can do is live for Him.
And I can’t help but ask myself, “Is that so hard?”
Even if people don’t see me any different on the outside right now, I can still be completely satisfied that God lives within me, and showing God’s grace will come in time. Don’t expect to be a saint right away.
So, if I were to ask you anything, a favor, a question, anything, I would ask you to accept His grace. And if you have, ask Him to direct every move and every thought of yours. And like I said, you can’t expect to be a “perfect Christian”, we humans are never perfect. (And just because I said human doesn’t mean that you can call yourself an alien. Smile.)
I challenge you today to at least give it a shot. Trust me, it’s totally worth it. Well, goodbye for now. I can’t wait to see what happens when people read this. Smile -
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31 KJV)
Artwork is as varied as the different peoples and places on our planet. Bringing us all together is the beauty of one person’s creation and the connection it makes for all. God created this world and His beauty is found in the talent of Kayla McCausey.
Thank you, Kayla, for a glimpse into your awesome collection of paintings!
The Story—Hiccup, the only son of the Viking Stoick the Vast, wants to prove himself worthy to his father and people by slaying a dragon. During a dragon raid, Hiccup shoots down a Night Fury with a bolas cannon he made. But no one believes him.
Trying to find proof, he sets off to find the body. But there’s one problem: the dragon is still alive.
Hiccup finds the dragon still trapped by the bolas cannon’s net, wounded, and missing a part of his tail fin which prevents him from flying. Hiccup befriends the dragon, which he names Toothless, and creates an artificial tail fin and control harness with which he helps Toothless fly.
Meanwhile Hiccup is in Dragon Slayer Training, trying to hide Toothless in fear of his Viking friends.
When Toothless reveals the truth about why the dragons are raiding the Viking villages, Hiccup and Toothless must work together to stop evil from destroying everything.
The Lesson—Hiccup and Toothless are great examples of true friendship. This movie helped me understand that standing up for friends—even if it means sacrificing something of great value—is the best way to go.
Content—As well as being awesome in animation and story, we were surprised at how clean it was! Not very many movies are clean nowadays, but How to Train Your Dragon is definitely one of the cleanest I have seen in a long time (although there was something a little uncomfortable).
My Opinion – YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS MOVIE!
Through a life of extreme hardships, Kayla Woodhouse’s ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being home schooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. No Safe Haven, is the first in a three-book suspense series. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com