Saturday, May 29, 2010

To the Hopefuls ;)

To the Hopefuls-

To all of you hopefuls, to you boys out there,
Who have been thinking of asking me out,
This poem is a warning, a friendly "beware!"
You don't know what you're talking about.

See, I'm very picky.  It takes quite a lot
For a boy to win my affections.
You may be the right guy... but probably not.
Please know I have high expectations. 

I don't want to sound uppity, snooty, or mean,
But I feel like I should tell the truth.
I'm not in a great hurry.  I'm just seventeen!
There is still so much time left to choose.

I've liked guys before. You may have a chance.
I'm flattered.  You're so very kind-- but--
If you're trying to find a way into my pants,
Then you have the wrong girl in mind.

I know that God has great things in store,
And if you are the right guy, you'll see!
We can always be friends, but if you want more,
You must be seeking Him to find me.

Emily Whelchel

This was a joke in many ways, but... girls who feel this way as well, here is our anthem. :)  What do you think?

Friday, May 28, 2010

What's Your Story?

What were you like before you became a Christian?  What are sins that you have struggled with in the past?  It can be frightening and difficult to open up about your story.  Many Christians struggle with the concept of witnessing in general and especially with the daunting task of sharing their own testimony.  What's so difficult about this simple idea?  It's scary to talk about your past and your sins.  You may be afraid that you will be judged, discredited, and put down because of your story.  You may be afraid that you will say the wrong thing.  You may think that your testimony isn't "big" enough to impact anyone.

I've always learned that there are three basic steps to giving your testimony:

1.) Who you were before Christ.
2.) What happened to change all this.
3.) Who you are now.

Easy, right?  Not always.

Do you know how to tell your testimony in a way that will impact those around you and make them want to know more about Jesus Christ?  If not, keep reading.  I want to help you out. 

How to share your testimony. 
A testimony is basically the story of how you became a Christian and how Jesus Christ has changed your life.  Your story can be short or long.  You can share details about your childhood or you can give a few basic points from your life before Christ.  When you give your testimony, try to relate to your listener.  Remember to include the three things that I mentioned above. 

Who you were before Christ- Mention a specific sin that you struggled with in your life before Jesus.  Talk about your unhappiness, that incomplete feeling you had inside.  Talk about how you were lost in your sin and you never could have made it to heaven on your own.  Make sure that your listener realizes that you were a sinner. 

What happened to change all this- Talk about what made you realize that you needed Jesus.  What led you to Christ- your parents, your pastor, a camp, the Bible, a book?  What did you tell God when you admitted that you were a sinner?  What emotions were running through your head?  (These emotions may be what your listener is feeling at this moment.) 

Who you are now-  Describe the joy and peace you feel that comes from Jesus and only Jesus.  Have you overcome your aforementioned sin since you became a Christian?  Be sure to mention that you still face challenges at times, but you have a new hope and confidence in Jesus.  How has God changed your life for the better?  

Why is sharing my testimony so important?
Sharing your faith is a crucial part of being a disciple of Christ.  In Matthew 28:19, 20, Jesus commands us to go and make disciples of all nations.  Jesus did not ask us- He commanded us to share the gospel with the world.  When have you last shared your faith? 

Telling your story is a great way to witness because it involves getting personal with a friend or acquaintance and sharing your own story of how you came to Christ.  Personal testimonies are often impacting and thought-provoking.  Have you ever been to a Christian concert when one of the artists stood up and gave a touching story of how they came to Christ?  Did you not get chills?  Were you not brought to tears?  Testimonies go beyond saying, "You should become a Christian because the Bible says so."  When you give your testimony, you're saying, "This is what Jesus Christ did for my life and this is what He can do for you."    

Is sharing my testimony Biblical?
The Bible never gives a word-by-word, step-by-step description of how you should tell people about Jesus.  What the Bible does say is that you should go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  In 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Paul briefly gives his testimony to fellow believer Timothy.  In Acts 22, Paul gives a more detailed testimony to a large crowd in Jerusalem. 
I have a horrible past.  I'm afraid that others will judge me if I give my testimony.
Everybody has sinned.  It may be frightening and embarrassing to admit what your life was like before Christ.  Maybe you were an alcoholic or into drugs.  Maybe you robbed banks.  Maybe you were a compulsive liar or extremely depressed.  Maybe you had an abortion or slept around.  The truth is: yeah, no matter who you are, you've messed up at some point in your life. 

The good thing about giving your testimony is the fact that you can use your mistakes and your bad choices to help lead someone to the Lord.  You don't have to share every detail about who you used to be.  Your description of your past may consist of something like, "Before I became a Christian, I was into drugs and really depressed.  My life was miserable until..." and that could be as far as you go. 

No matter what you struggled with as an unbeliever, there are people who are struggling with that same issue right now.  Your story could be what helps them realize that they need Jesus.  Pray for the Lord to give you courage to share your story to those around you.  Your testimony can help impact someone for Jesus and your life-changing transformation will reflect glory on Him.     

I became a Christian when I was very young.  I don't really have a good testimony.
I've heard so many people- especially young people- give this excuse when faced with the challenge of sharing their testimony.  "I got saved when I was five.  Sure, I was a sinner, but I never really did anything that bad.  My story can't impact anyone."  Honestly, testimonies aren't supposed to be some competition about who has the most life-shattering story.  That's not how it works.  Sharing your testimony means you telling someone about how you became a Christian.  You don't have to have some crazy, action-packed life before you became a Christian.  Your story can be "small."  People will still be touched, because you're telling about what changed you

Your testimony can go something like this: "I grew up in a Christian environment.  I always went to church.  Even though I was a little kid, I still messed up.  I disobeyed my parents, I lied, and I fought with my brother.  When a kind lady at church told me about how Jesus had died on the cross for my sins, it hit me.  I asked Jesus into my heart right then and admitted that I had sinned and needed Him.  Ever since then, my life has been changed.  I still struggle with sins like lying, but Jesus has given me a peace and a strength that I wouldn't have in my life without Him.  I'm truly joyful because Jesus is in my heart."   

See?  You can use your story to describe what Jesus has done for you.  It may not be shocking enough to fill a book, but your story can always be used to impact others for the Lord.   

What's your testimony?
I'll post my testimony on this site tomorrow, so check back to read my story.  You can use my testimony as an example in which to write yours or you can simply read and see how Jesus Christ has changed my life.  If you're not a Christian, be sure to read my story and find out what Jesus has done for me and where I come from as a Christian.

What's your testimony?  Leave it in a comment below.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Poverty: Water and Sanitation

Clean water is necessary for proper sanitation and survival.  How would you like to drink and bathe in muddy water that has been infected with parasites and diseases?  If I handed you a glass filled with muck and asked you to drink it, how would you respond?  "That's gross and humane.  I would never even touch that water," you might say, offended that anyone would offer you such a disgusting drink.

The truth is that water like this is the only thing that many people have.

Imagine having to bathe in water that cattle have defecated in and mosquitoes and vermin have infested.  Imagine if your parents (or if you're a parent, YOU) provided water brown with filth for your family to drink.  No parent should be forced dangerously unclean water to their children, but many have no choice. 

The 2006 United Nations Development Report states that 1.1 billion people in the world have inadequate access to water and 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation.  Nearly 2 billion people die each year from water related diseases and 90% are under the age of five.  Clean water is such a critical need that it seems almost incomprehensible that people are going without it.  Two in three people who lack access to clean water live on less than two dollars a day, and one in three people who lack access to clean water lives on less than one dollar a day.  This may seem obvious, but this means that the main reason that people do not have water is because they live in extreme poverty.  Poverty is no excuse for people to be forced to live without clean water and sanitation. 

The next time you take a thirty minute shower- the next time you flush a toilet or wash your hands- remember that one in face children has no access to clean water at all.

What do you plan on doing about it?  Are you unsure?  Let me give you some suggestions.

  • Donate to organizations that are focused on providing clean water to those who have none.  I'm about to give you a ton of different nonprofits to choose from.  Check out Blood:Water Mission, Global Water, charity:water, Clean Water Action, Healing Waters International, Water Aid, Water for People, Global Water Challenge, Water 1st, Thirst Relief, WSUP (Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor),, Water Advocates, and Water for the Ages.  These amazing people have researched and are currently working hard to solve the water crisis around the world. 
  • When you purchase water bottles, think about choosing Ethos Water.  This water manufacturer (created by Starbucks) donates five cents to the Ethos Water Foundation.  So far, through this program, Starbucks has been able to grant 6.2 million dollars to the Ethos Water Foundation, providing water and sanitation to approximately 420,000 people in the last five years.
  • This is a ways away, but celebrate World Water Day on March 22, 2011.  The World Water Day was designated by the United Nations in 1992 to help raise awareness to the water crisis around the world. 
  • Start a group with your church, school, friends, or family to create a fundraiser to donate to some of these organizations.
  • Post on your Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc. about the need of water.  Post stats, links to some of these websites... help raise awareness amongst your friends and colleagues about the water crisis. 
  • Raise awareness and education about the international water crisis in daily conversation.
  • Write letters to elected officials encouraging them to fight to help end the water crisis.
  • Don't waste your water.  Don't drag out your showers or baths.  Don't leave on your garden hose or sprinklers for too long.  Shut off the sink faucet when you're brushing your teeth.  Water is such a valuable resource.  Don't let yourself waste it. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Burdened by the world, free of all hope,
She moved through her day with sad eyes.
Painfully shy from her insecurities,
Nobody knew how she felt inside. 

She felt all alone: one against the world.
She was drowning inside of herself.
She wished for a way to escape all the pain,
Searched for faults in everyone else. 

She looked in the mirror and hated what she saw,
Her beauty was hidden to her eyes.
She wore scars on her wrists and sadness inside.
She wouldn't let anyone hear her cry.

One day she found a note in her textbook.
She'd never seen the handwriting before.
She read with wide eyes that soon filled with tears.
She was shocked. The note had her floored.

"I know life is hard to bear and endure,
And I've seen all the scars that you wear.
I don't want you to live feeling unloved,
So this note is from someone who cares."

She sank to the floor, white as a sheet,
As she looked at the note in her hands.
"Somewhere in the world, somebody cares,
Somebody out there understands."

Emily Whelchel

Whoever you are, whatever you're going through, you're not alone.  Have hope.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Loss: Blame

Okay, if you're reading this, I'm going to assume that you're either struggling from the loss of a loved one to suicide or you're debating the thought of ending your own life.  Either way, I've written this for you.  I know where you're coming from.  Two years ago, I lost a friend to suicide.  One of the biggest barriers you have to overcome is blaming yourself.  The loss of a loved one is so difficult to go through.  I understand that.  I'm writing this to encourage you not to give up hope.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  It's possible to heal... maybe not forget, but it's possible to heal

After a loved one commits suicide, it is easy to begin searching for a cause or a reason for the death to have happened.  Many times, while searching for answers, you begin to blame yourself.  Tell me if any of these thoughts seem familiar:

"If I was a better friend..."
"If I reached out to her more..."
"If I hadn't have pushed him so hard..."
"If I would have looked harder for the signs..."
"If I would have been there for him more..."
"If I would have known, I could have stopped her..."
"If I listened better..."

If any of these thoughts echo your own, then you've been seeking blame in yourself after the death of a loved one.  In fact, as you read this, you may be thinking, "I know I'm blaming myself, because it's my fault."  I know how this feels.  I know what it's like to feel blame.  I know how difficult it is to stay strong and not despise yourself for not somehow stopping your friend or family member's death. 

Were you truly a bad friend?  One of your reasons for blame might be that you were not a good enough friend.  You didn't show your love well enough.  You didn't reach out enough.  You didn't provide a good enough reason for your loved one to not want to die.  Does this describe you?  If it does, I want you to start thinking about the good times you had with your lost friend.  Don't think about the last fight you had or about all the times you felt disappointed in each other.  I want you to think of the times when you laughed so hard, you both cried.  I want you to think of the deep talks you had, the moments you spent together, the last smile you shared.  That was you being a good friend.  Not a bad friend, not a disappointment, not a failure.  A good, loving friend. 

Did your loved one consider you a friend?  Did he or she care about you?  "Obviously not enough," you may want to tell me. "She still did it."  I realize that, but I also want you to realize something: your friend was not thinking correctly at her time of death.  He or she was not feeling rational enough to view life as something valuable.  He or she wasn't thinking about the consequences that you would face.  He or she was only looking for a way out of his or her pain.  What your friend did wasn't because you were a lousy friend, even if you feel that way now. 

Try to continue to remind yourself about the good times you shared and about how many times you tried to be a true friend.  If you nitpick until you find all of your failures as a friend, you're going to find them.  Nobody is a perfect friend.  You're going to disappoint yourself.  However, think about how many times you've "failed" all of your other friends and loved ones.  Have they committed suicide as a result of that?  No, of course not.  It's not your fault.  Honestly, even if you were the worst friend in the world, it's not your fault.        

Whose decision was it? 
This is one of the easiest and one of the hardest things to accept.  Did you put the gun to your friend's head or force the pills down her throat?  Did you take your friend captive and force him to kill himself?  "Well, practically," you might say, but that doesn't cut it.  No.  Suicide cannot be your fault because it will never be your decision unless you do it to yourself.  Your friend's death was not your fault.  You didn't murder your friend.  She did it to herself.  It's sad, it's painful... I know it's hard.  I realize that it's difficult to accept and I'm so sorry that you have to go through this at all.  I'm so sorry.  But you can never honestly and truthfully blame a friend's suicide on yourself when it was ultimately his or her decision. 
Stop searching for minute details.  Your blame process may be something like this: "I know it's my fault because two summers ago, we had this conversation about how we loved this one song and then it turns out that her parents hated that song and the night before she died, she was listening to that song out loud in front of her parents and they got into a huge fight about that song and then they got into a fight about how messy her bedroom was and she died the next day.  That's why it's my fault."  Your story may seem more rational than this to you... your story may be crazier than this... your story may be about the same.  But to make a long story short, stop searching for these tiny, minute details that could put you at fault in your own mind and link you to your friend's death in the most irrational, bizarre way.  No.  Don't let yourself go there.  Stop tormenting yourself.  It's natural to feel blame, but don't strive to put yourself at blame.  You don't need to be at fault.  You aren't at fault.
Missing the signs.  There are basic signs leading to suicide that you've probably heard somewhere before.  Recklessness, giving away possessions, speaking carelessly about death or lack of hope, writing a will, sleeplessness, sudden change of attitude for better or worse, loss of interest in usual activities and hobbies, social withdrawal, and loss of appetite.  Since your friend's death, you may look back and start to notice signs that weren't there before.  This may shame you, horrify you, and make you blame yourself for missing what now seems like the obvious.  First of all, it's too late to change these things.  Right now, you need to focus on you healing rather than dwelling on your guilt.  You weren't the only one that missed signs.  It's difficult to find signs of suicide in a friend when you aren't looking for them, and what kind of friend would you be if you were constantly badgering and probing your friend for signs of suicide?  Just because you overlooked a sign that may or may not have been there, that doesn't mean that your friend's death was your fault.   
Stop making your friend the hero in this situation.  You may look for blame in yourself because you don't want to blame your friend.  You loved your friend.  You don't want to make her sound like a terrible person.  You want to visualize her as a heroic, amazing person who helped everyone around her.  This is extremely difficult to accept, but your friend was not perfect.  Suicide was a mistake on your friend's part.  Don't give your friend a break and throw yourself under the bus because of something that your friend has done.  Remember your friend for the good memories and the good things about her, but don't give yourself blame because you don't want to blame her for anything.
Sadly, you can't change the past.  I know this is hard.  I know that it hurts to lose a loved one to suicide.  I know you want to look back and sort through every facial expression, every word, every conversation... but the past is the past.  You are the one who matters right now.  You are the one who needs to heal.  Torturing yourself by searching out blame in yourself is not going to help anything.  You need to focus on looking forward, forgiving yourself and your friend, and reminding yourself about the good memories rather than the painful ones. 

If you are considering suicide, I hope this helps you realize how truly painful your death will be for those around you.  You may be thinking that your death will put blame on those who have hurt you and made your life miserable.  But instead, your death is going to hurt those who love you and care about you- probably even more than it will hurt your enemies.  Close your eyes and think of two or three people who you care about the most.  These are the ones who I wrote to in this article.  These are the ones who will be tormenting themselves, blaming themselves, and hating themselves for what you will have done.  Do you realize what you are doing to those around you?  If you want to commit suicide, please talk to one of these people about your thoughts.  Please reconsider.  Your decision has the potential to crush the hearts of many, many people around you.  Please don't do this to your loved ones. 

Thank you for reading this article.  If you have any additions or comments about this article, then you can leave them in the comment box below.  I'd love to hear from you.

I'm sorry that you're reading this right now.  I'm sorry if you feel blame towards yourself.  Please continue to remind yourself that the death of your loved one was not your fault.  You are not at fault here.  The sooner it takes for you to realize this, the sooner you can heal. 

Check back next week for my article about coping the right way after the death of a loved one to suicide.      

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poverty: Shelter

Picture your home in your mind.  Count how many rooms are in your house.  When it rains, do you have somewhere to keep you dry?  Are you protected from the cold during the winter and the heat during the summer?  Even if your home is small and needs repair, you are blessed.  There are more than 100 million people who are homeless around the globe and many people who have a home at all are living in devastatingly poor conditions. 

According to UNICEF, one in three children lives without adequate shelter.  The World Bank Key Data and Statistics states that a quarter of the population lives without electricity.  "Electricity isn't that big of a deal," you may be thinking.

Think again.

I'm going to give you a small challenge.  For twenty-four hours, I want you to go without electricity.  That means no heating, lighting, or air conditioning.  No stoves, microwaves or electric can openers.  Any food that comes out of the refrigerator or freezer is off limits.  No warm water, television, or video games.  If your plumbing system runs on electricity, then say goodbye to that as well.  Are you starting to get the idea? 

Let me tell you a true story.  I once knew a little girl who lived in the poor area of my city.  Let's call her "Mary."  Mary's family was very poor and they had no money to pay the electric bill, so they relied on candles to provide lighting and warmth.  One night in November, the family was very cold, so they decided to leave their candles lit through the night to try and heat up their home.  Somehow a candle tipped over and a fire was started in the middle of the night.  It spread rapidly before anyone in the family even woke up.  Everyone managed to escape... except for one person.  Mary was trapped inside her burning house.

Little Mary died in the flames of her home on November 19, 2008.  She was twelve years old.  This story happened in modern day America. 

Lack of proper shelter can be dangerous.  No child deserves to live in a one room shack with twelve other people.  No child deserves to live in a house made of cardboard and tin.  No child deserves to live in a shelter that lets in rain and deadly mosquitoes.  No child deserves to suffer from sweltering heat or frigid cold in their own homes.  But they do.

What can you do to help?  "Well, I sure can't buy someone a house or pay for their electricity bill," you may be thinking.  "There is nothing I can do."  I can think of a few things.

Donate to nonprofit organizations who build homes.  Obviously, Habitat for Humanity is a great choice.  You can donate on their website.  From Houses to Homes is a nonprofit organization that focuses on building homes for the impoverished people of Guatemala.  The Fuller Center for Housing is another great nonprofit organization that focuses on building homes for the needy.  With this organization, you can also sponsor a home, similar to sponsoring a child.  For all of you young people like me, there is an organization called YouthBuild that helps teens reach out to their communities and build houses.
Volunteer your time.  Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide organization that helps provide homes for the needy.  If you live near a college or university, then there is probably a Habitat for Humanity group on campus that you could join.  YouthBuild is another great option.  You can also search around amongst the local ministries, as there are often many people who arrange for a house to be built or remodeled for a needy family.
Open your home.  You may know a college student or an elderly person or a newly divorced woman who is struggling to keep from losing their house.  Pray about this decision, but if you have an open room, then offer it to your friend for a couple of months.  Give someone a break.  In the Bible, Priscilla often opened her home for Paul.  You can share Jesus through such a giving act. 
Pray for those who are without homes. 
Make a note to say a prayer at least once a day for the 100 million homeless and all of those who are suffering with an inadequate home.  Ask God to help them find proper shelter for the night.  When it is pouring rain or snowing outside, say a prayer for those who are sleeping outside.

Appreciate your home. 
You may be tired of the cramped space of your bedroom or the leaky spot on your ceiling or the lousy air conditioning system, but remember to appreciate what God has blessed you with because there are many people who have less.  Instead of complaining about how small or ramshackle your house has become, say a prayer of thanks that you even have a home.

Try to conserve energy.  When you're leaving a room, turn off the lights.  Don't take two hour showers.  Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.  Don't leave on the sprinklers till your back yard floods.  Respect the gift that you do have and don't waste. 

What do you think?  How do you help those without homes?  Leave your comments below.
I take credit for the pictures used today. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Loss: The Initial Shock

Two years ago, I came home from a movie that I had been waiting to see for months.  I Am Legend.  I was fifteen years old and a freshman in high school.  As I burst through the door to my room, I turned on my computer, eager to discuss the movie with my friends.

As I pulled open my MySpace page, a public bulletin caught my eye.  It said, "Who knows about Gatlin?!?!?!  I need to know DETAILS!!!!!!!!!!"  Afraid that some false rumor had begun to spread like a wildfire, I messaged the kid back, asking what he was talking about, and ready to shut the rumor down immediately in defense of my friend.  Gatlin and I were good friends in middle school, and our friendship had continued into high school.  The kid's response to my message sent my heart crashing down to my feet.  "Well, if you haven't heard, he killed himself.  Sorry if you knew him!"

My heart pounded in my head.  My thoughts were spinning.  It couldn't be true.  I stumbled downstairs into my parents' bedroom.  I could hardly get the words out.  "Gatlin... killed himself."  And I collapsed onto their bed, crying with fear.  In a frenzy, my parents made a few calls and then sadly confirmed the news.  Gatlin had taken his own life a few hours before.

I spent that night in torment.  The only emotions I felt were horror, numbness, and shame.  I wasn't sure how, but I knew that this was somehow my fault.


You or someone you know may have gone through a similar situation.  The loss of a loved one to suicide is a difficult and painful experience.  When a friend or relative commits suicide, loved ones often search desperately for a cause behind the terrible action.  When no reason can be found, it is common to start searching out blame in yourself.

The act of suicide often seems incomprehensible... taking a life, albeit your own, is a horrifying thing. After Gatlin died, a million and one questions ran through my mind.  "Why did he finally give in?"  "What could have been bad enough to make him snap like that?"  "Why wasn't he thinking about the people who loved him?"  "Why wasn't I there for him when I was supposed to be his friend?"

One of the biggest questions in my heart filled me with torment.  As a Christian, I was afraid to ask this question... and afraid of the answer I might receive.  The question: "Where was God in this?"

My human mind could not understand how God would allow one of His children- a Christian- to pull a trigger and take his own life.  How was this God's will?  Where was His love?  How did this bring Him glory?  Anger and betrayal filled my heart, but I suppressed my feelings within myself, sure that I could never let God know how I truly felt.

You may have lost a friend or relative to suicide or to an unfortunate tragedy.  You may be feeling similar emotions to the things that I felt as a grieving Christian.  Once a week for the next few weeks, I will be expanding on the issue of loss and how to heal from grief within your relationship with God.

If you have a loved one who is suffering from the loss of a friend or family member, then this next blog series can help you know how to comfort them and find the right words to say.  Your friend needs you to be there for them and encourage them through this difficult time.

If you are considering suicide as an alternative for life, then I'm going to ask you to hold on for a few more weeks.  I'm pleading with you to hang on for just a little bit longer and listen to what I have to say.  I want to give you a glimpse into what it is like for the people who lose a loved one to suicide.  I want you to face how your action will affect those around you.  If you are contemplating suicide, then don't let yourself feel this way any longer.  There is hope.  Please search out help... find someone to talk to about what you are feeling.  Talk to someone you know and trust or go to

If you have a personal story of healing (or helping a friend to heal) from the loss of a loved one, then comment below.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Planet Earth

Planet earth is busy, crazy, and loud,
Filled with the self-centered, lazy, and proud.
I wish I was up there with You right now,
But I'm stuck in this life and I can't make a sound.

Only You see me through the noise and the mess.
You know when I'm struggling, but trying my best.
You open Your arms and give me hope and rest,
But this harsh world is putting my faith to the test.

I feel like I'm drowning most of the time.
A light in this darkness is so hard to find.
Sometimes all I wish is to just press rewind.
You continue to guide me when my heart is blind.

I am only a child- that much is true.
There is so very much that I cannot do.
Yet I feel a hope. I have been renewed.
When I lose my courage, I will look to You.

Emily Whelchel

Monday, May 10, 2010

Almost There

School's almost out and everyone's bored.
We sit in our desks with blank stares.
Tests come and go, the teachers still teach,
But none of us is close to prepared.

Tee-shirts, flip flops, no more winter coats!
At last, we can lay out in the sun.
We don't want finals or semester exams.
We want summer camps, parties, and fun.

Excitement is high, the tension is thick,
And oh my- it's only mid-March!
I can't even imagine what school will be like,
When the end of year actually starts.

But then it does come, and never too soon,
Cleaning lockers and hugging our seniors.
Summer's finally here- freedom at last!
Shouting, "Have fun! I'll see you next year!"

But one thing remains- a shackle, a chain,
A reminder of our yearly detainment.
Stacks of thick books, hundreds of pages,
To read for summer English assignments

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mommy Day

I was searching through old poems today and found these two little pieces I wrote in early 2002 when I was nine.

Happy Mother's Day

I'm glad you're my mom.
You have an amazing style.
You're also nice,
And you have a great smile.

You tuck me in at night.
You give great hugs.
When Luke makes a mess,
You vacuum the rugs.

Your voice is like a bell,
Chiming, so great!
Another good thing is
You let me stay up late.

Those are only some reasons,
That's why you're so fun.
After we snuggle,
The day's finally done.

Someone Little

Someone little found your love
Mixed up in the flowers.
That little one stares it it
For hours and hours.

Someone little found your care,
Found a little everywhere.
Your love for them might be mild,
But that someone little is your child.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Our eyes are like skies filled with diamonds
And thousands of pixie dust stars.
Our feet in the sand, faces to the sky,
While the beach lies sleepy and warm.

And the trees sway about us like dancers,
In a breeze that is soothing and sweet.
We splash about in the gentle, white waves,
Spinning in white dresses and bare feet.

The moon casts pale shadows all 'round us,
And the soft light shines on our hair.
We giggle and twirl, only two little girls,
Dancing, laughing, without any cares.

We fall onto a pillow-white seashore,
And listen to the ocean's deep whisper.
We're young; we're amazed by the little things.
Two best friends; we are two little sisters.

Emily Whelchel

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In a Million Years

This is a song I wrote when I was fourteen years old.  One of my first attempts at songwriting, so be gentle!

In A Million Years

Can't He see me? I'm trying to trust Him, but it's so hard.
All this death, Lord. If You love us, then why do we die?
I'm so frightened
When I see the world crashing
Down and down and down.
Tell me, Lord,
If I give myself to You,
Will I live after I die?

In a million years, I'll be alive.
In a million years, my heart will thrive,
And I'll be laughing, dancing, singing,
To the One King of all times.
In a million years, I'll see the day.
In a million years, I will still pray.
And He will love me,
And He will care,
And I'll be laughing.

I feel His peace when others start to cry.
I know He'll care for me.
I know I'm not alone.  I simply smile
When I see my world crashing
Down and down and down.
I know I've got it.
I will live. I will live and never die.

In a million years, I'll be alive.
In a million years, my heart will thrive,
And I'll be laughing, dancing, singing
To the One King of all times.
In a million years, I'll see the day.
In a million years, I will still pray.
And He'll still love me.
And He'll still care.
And I'll be dancing.

I don't know everything God has planned for me.
How can I, really?
I'm a person and God is God.
So let's keep living
Until the world comes crashing
Down and down and down.
I know the Lord would never let me die.
He holds me tight within His heart.

In a million years, I'll be alive.
In a million years, my heart will thrive.
And I'll be laughing, dancing, singing
To the One King of all times.
In a million years, I'll see the day.
In a million years, I will still pray.
And I will love Him.
And I will care.
And I'll be singing.

How can this be that He set me free?
That I am alive for the One who created me?

In a million years, I'll be alive.
In a million years, my heart will thrive.
And I'll be laughing, dancing, singing
To the One King of all times.
In a million years, I'll see the day.
In a million years, I will still pray.
And I'll be happy.
And I will live.
And I'll be praising.