Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Golden Hour

One of the worst thrift stores I ever went to unintentionally brought me one of my favorite albums I've ever had the pleasure enjoying.

It was a bad smelling thrift store, the kind that smells far too musty with moth balls and dust, with the ever so light note of BO to top it off. Also, almost every garment on the shelf had a hole in it! I only bought a single garment from that place (yes, I managed to find a hole-less cardigan) and I have since decided I don't even like that garment. 

But while I was in that store, I heard a pleasant sounding song over the station playing overhead. I used a song app to identify it as "Rainbow", and added to my Spotify (I was a Spotify user at the time, but have since switched to Apple Music for the superior audio quality) to listen later. 

It's typical of me to, when I discover a new song from an artist I don't already listen to, I will listen to the one song I found for awhile, come to love it, then when I'm feeling ambitious and impulsive I will venture into the album, and even the artist, to discover more.

Such is how it happened for me to discover the rest of this wonderful, beautiful, different album called "Golden Hour", by Kacey Musgraves.

I won't bore you any longer with how I came about listening to it. 

I'm simply interested in discussing what I like about it so much, for mainly my own enjoyment, as it pertains to me and my view of the world and my opinions during this season of my life (which, granted, is a very narrow viewpoint. I am not the kind who is able to speak intelligently and from a place of knowledge about music, or much of anything else. If you come into this blog, or even this post, expecting to broaden your mind and intellect with my knowledge and opinions of everything in my microscopic world, needless to say, dear friend, you will be disappointed). 

So here we go.

In speaking about the album as a whole, I love the diversity in sound from your usual country or pop music. Wikipedia says it is a "Country and country pop record... which explores elements of disco, electropop, electronica, and yacht rock". It's atypical yet beautiful, different yet comforting. 

It's the closest thing to actual country music I can stomach listening to, honestly. Kacey Musgraves took something that I historically dislike (dare I say abhor), and made something I admire and adore! No artist I know has succeeded in making me love country so much. 

Let me talk about some of the tracks...

Slow Burn

I love how the song begins, it is shy and sweet, it pulls me in right away. And then we are met with Musgraves lovely, simple voice. This song speaks to me because it is typical of me to prefer taking the slow side of things. Sometimes I, like all people, rush into things, but I will always preach the benefits of taking one's time. This song is quiet and relaxing and makes me think of walking through the springtime sunlight, a light breeze on the air. I am here, taking my time, trying to learn what I can with the life I've been given. God's timing is usually slow, forcing me to take my time and learn to be patient with myself and with His work.

"You know the bar down the street don't close for an hour, we could take a walk, and look at all the flowers."

"Old soul, waiting my turn, I know a few things but I still got a lot to learn."

Lonely Weekend

I am still learning to be ok with being alone.

It's harder sometimes. Some experiences don't seem worth living when you don't have someone to share it with. Some weeks it's just me and my own depressing thoughts and anxieties at my workplace, only to end the work week with two days off- full of nothingness. For me, nothingness causes depression, but somethings cause anxiety. After trying to be something with two different significant others in 2020 (one which, I never thought would work out, and the other I really did think would work out, both hurting in the end), the LORD has brought me back to the place where I am by myself. Alone again. Perhaps I can learn more this time around, now that I know how distracting it is to try to work on myself when there's somebody else. 

"Even if you got somebody on your mind, it's alright to be alone sometimes, sometimes."

"I guess everybody else is out tonight, guess I'm hangin' by myself, but I don't mind."


This is the very next track I heard when venturing into this album to see what it had to offer after falling in love with "Rainbow". This track is a nod to my personal tendency to fall for people far too easily. This song reminds me to set aside feelings of bitterness, jealousy, hurt, even anger when thinking about important people in my life who have come and gone, and just remember the lovely feeling of it all, the wonderfulness of time spent with people I cared about at the time. I am a hopeless romantic. Always waiting on the edge of the heart to be swept away by romance. It's in my blood. I love being in love. The LORD is using this part of my life to learn to step back outside of any feeling I might have for someone, and view things logically, sensibly, and with a higher perspective.

"I didn't know him, and he didn't know me. Cloud nine was always out of reach. Now I remember what it feels like to fly! You give me butterflies. You give me butterflies."

Oh, What a World

I love the way Apple Music talks about this track. "Most endearing, perhaps, is 'Oh, What a World', Kacey's free-spirited ode to the magic of humankind that was written in the glow of an acid trip. It's all so graceful and low-key that even the toughest country purists will find themselves swaying along." My mind is ever being pulled in two directions, an existential dread of life like a backpack full of rocks, and my aboslute, childlike wonder of the world around me. This song reminds me how much I adore my mind's perception of God's world. People, places, things, feelings, affection, sunshine! It is all so wonderful and, as Apple Music puts it, "endearing".

"Oh, what a world, I don't wanna leave. There's all kinds of magic, it's hard to believe. Thank God it's not too good to be true. Oh, what a world, and then there is you."

Space Cowboy

And here we have one of my favorites on the album. This song spoke to my heart even before I tried to be in a relationship with someone I thought was the 'one'. Now, since I've had then lost my cowboy, it's even more personal to my ever-romantic soul. I am the kind of person who needs their space, absolutely. I was willing to give him his. I guess he wanted more. So he left. I didn't fight it. I don't now. And I won't. What's meant to be mine I won't ever have to fight for. I thank God for the wonderful times I had with him, and he can drive off in his truck and it's ok if I'll never see him again. I'll treasure the memories, the day trips, the unknown wilderness of what we were to each other while it lasted. All I can say is, I'm sorry you believed what you believed, I'm sorry it ended that way. I thought I loved you. I think now I only loved how you made me feel. I only love romance. Sunsets fade and love does too.

"Boots weren't made for sitting by the door. Since you don’t wanna stay anymore, you can have your space, cowboy. I ain't gonna fence you in. Go on, ride away in your Silverado, guess I'll see you round again. I know my place, and it ain't with you. Well, sunsets fade, and love does too. Yeah, we had our day in the sun. When a horse wants to run, there ain't no sense in closing the gate. You can have your space, cowboy."

 Happy & Sad

This song, the lyrics and the title, makes all the sense in the world without me having to say a word about it. It speaks to my excitement, my sense of wonder for the world, my wanting to jump right in, yet being held back just enough by anxiety. Jumping from one dopamine high to the next, just to get by, for fear of missing out, wanting to experience all I can in this life. Perhaps that high is a person. Perhaps that high is an experience. Until its all crashes down and then there is only depression, because everything that goes up must come down.

"Is there a word for the way that I'm feeling tonight? Happy and sad at the same time. You got me smiling with tears in my eyes. I never felt so high. No, I've never been this far off of the ground. And they say everything that goes up must come down. But I don't wanna come down."

"I don't mind at all, no, I'm used to fallin'. I'm comfortable when the sky is grey. But when everything is perfect, I start hiding, cause I know that rain is comin' my way, my way."


There are two songs in the album that, when I'm in the right mood, will bring tears to my eyes for just a moment. "Space Cowboy", and "Rainbow". The piano, the tempo, the lyrics, her sweet voice. It speaks of hopes, colors, dreams, in the midst of the perpetual grey of life. It is gloomy, yet optimistic. Sad yet happy. Depressing, yet hopeful. What is life, if it isn't a constant, repeating state being in the midst of the moody, grey rain. The sadness. The betrayal. The weight in the heart to move forward. 

And yet in the midst of it all, colors. 

I speak lies if I say that God doesn't shower generous amounts of patience and love on me, to coax me forward every step at my own snail's pace. It seems I'm always in the same old storms. Yet there is always a rainbow.

"If you could see what I see, you'd be blinded by the colors. Yellow, red, orange and green, and at least a million others. So tie up the boat, take off your coat, and take a look around, 'cause the sky has finally opened, the rain and wind stopped blowing'. But you're stuck out in the same ol' storm again! You hold tight to your umbrella. Well, darlin', I'm just tryin' to tell ya that there's always been a rainbow hangin' over your head!"

There are other tracks than the ones mentioned here, all which are unique and lovely, and that nod to my heart in various ways. These here in the post are the ones that I hold the closest in my heart. Even in ways I don't know how to express in typing, yet is felt by my soul. 

I've loved this album for over a year, but I stopped listening to it in October 2020, only halfway with intention. It is a springtime album, I wanted to save it until at least March. I listened to it for the first time since my heart had been made lonely again, and it spoke to me in new and unique ways than I had remembered. 

I did listen to it earlier than I planned. February instead of March. Perhaps I will tuck it away again for awhile, in my heart and in my Apple Music library, like a fond old memory, until I'm ready to take it out, look it over, remember it, and re-live the magic and the feelings during a time still in the future. 

~ Amaris // ☆

Saturday, December 12, 2020

well hello

Hello everyone. 

I have no idea if anyone still reads my blog. 

I don't know why anyone ever did. I certainly don't have anything to say. It's always ever only been for fun that I write on here. 

Something to say or not, here I am yet again. 

It's been awhile. 

There are a few questions people have been asking me when they haven't seen me for awhile. For the sake of this post, we'll pretend you're the friend.

how have you been doing with this *virus thing* //

Unpopular opinion - the "Coronavirus" is just the/a flu. It's nothing special. It's not very deadly. It's not worth all the shutdowns. It's not worth all the fear. It's not worth all the lost businesses and jobs. It's not worth the New World Order.

"But people are dying"

Yeah. People have always died. 

It's what they do.

where are you working these days //

I don't know if I ever actually 'told' my Blog that I got a job at The Home Depot in August of 2019. When The Virus happened, I continued to work, because you know... "Essential Retailer" and all that. Still working there. Good company. Best pay I've ever made at any job, best career opportunities I've ever personally been exposed to. We'll see where that goes. Worked a lot during the first shutdown of April 2020. Worked 90 hours one week, actually. That was a blast (no sarcasm. I actually had a lot of fun working the craziness that week. Plus, overtime. Yay)

Also in 2019 (November) I got hired at a bowling ally. But I consider it a side hustle. Especially since bowling allies are open and shut all the time in 2020 because of *restrictions*. I have spent weeks, even months, at a time not working there this year. But I always come back. It's a great fun place to make a little side cash. 

is God still important to you //

When the Whole World shut down in April, I stopped going to church. Because of all the working I didn't have time/didn't make time to read my Bible as well. Bad idea. "Drifted away" a little bit there. But I never stopped believing, and I never stopped trusting that He has a plan and was taking care of me. 

But it was a little hard to notice Him and think about Him when I wasn't constantly reminding myself with church fellowship and scripture. These days things are a little better,  and I now make more time for Him. Found a new/better church family. I even study the Bible sometimes. It's been pretty good.

Here's a verse. 

Psalm 51:1-2

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;

According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

how's the mental health //

Icky. But I've got a few things in the works to help with that.

read any good books lately //

Working on Atomic Habits, by James Clear. Really, really good book. Finished The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by my favorite internet comedy duo, Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal. Not a bad book but you can tell that Rhett and Link don't write novels for a living. 

If I finish Atomic Habits by New Years, I will have read those two books this year. 

I don't think I'm going to make it. 

So.. one book in 2020. 

watched anything notable //

Nothing very notable so far this year. 2020 was filled with The Office background noise coming from the MacBook Air sitting on my bedroom desk as I fell asleep. A few months back, I did watch Breaking Bad. How was that? Riveting. Tremendous. All the best adjectives. 

anything else //

I have 11 house plants in my room. Some are dying. Most are easy to care for, so they're thriving. The Pothos are doing great, as is the Camille. The Dumb Cane, I'm afraid, is suffering and may have to be put out of her misery soon....

Someone asked me to be their girlfriend for the first time in my life. He is a good man, so I said yes. I guess I'm in a relationship as of November 2, 2020.

I went to four weddings this year between the dates of September 17 and November 28. I haven't been to very many weddings but now I guess I can't say that. I can even say I've been to a Halloween wedding. That was pretty fun.

Well, that's about it. So much has happened this year but I can't think of anything short enough to put in this post. I don't want to get all long and ramble-y with it.

There's so many things I could say. 

So many things I could thank God for. 

I worked hard.

I discovered new music.

I got 4 wisdom teeth out.

I got chicken pox.

Found some new restaurants (ironically, considering the shutdowns).

I made new friends.

I got my heart broken. 

I learned some valuable lessons.

I learned the value of true friendship (a rather cliché statement fit for a Hallmark movie ending, I know).

I guess this is my New Years post for 2020. 

Thanks for reading.

Until next time...


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Song Challenge

A 30 Day Song Challenge

I'm not sure who created this tag/challenge, but credits to them. I found it on Instagram. (@amaris_todd)
Note: (E) indicates explicite content.

Day 1 // A song you like with a color in the title
Daphne Blue - The Band CAMINO

Day 2 // A song you like with a number in the title
1950 (E)- King Princess 

Day 3 // A song that reminds you of summertime
There For You - Martin Garrix, Troye Sivan

Day 4 // A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget
Water Fountain - Alec Benjamin

Day 5 // A song that needs to be played loud
Good Things Fall Apart - ILLENIUM, Jon Bellion

Day 6 // A song that makes you want to dance
Don't Stop Me Now - Queen

Day 7 // A song to drive to
Livewire - Oh Wonder

Day 8 // A song about drugs or alcohol
All Love (E)- FLETCHER

Day 9 // A song that makes you happy
Takeaway - The Chainsmokers, ILLENIUM, Lennon Stella

Day 10 // A song that makes you sad
Malibu Nights - LANY

Day 11 // A song that you never get tired of
Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees

Day 12 // A song from your preteen years
Hanging On - Britt Nicole

Day 13 // A song that you like from the 70s
Rocket Man - Elton John

Day 14 // A song you'd like to be played at your wedding
Dawn - From "Pride & Prejudice" Soundtrack - Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Day 15 // A song you like that's a cover by another artist
I only like originals! 9 times out of 10 the original is better anyway.

Day 16 // A song that's a classic favorite
Fireflies - Owl City

Day 17 // A song you'd sing a duet with someone on karaoke
Islands in the Stream - Bee Gees

Day 18 // A song from the year you were born (1998)
My Heart Will Go On - Céline Dion (technically from 1997 but it was in Titanic which came out 1998)

Day 19 // A song that makes you think about life 
Older - Sasha Sloan

Day 20 // A song that has many meanings to you
Know Me - The Band CAMINO

Day 21 // A song you like with a person's name in the title
Annabelle's Homework - Alec Benjamin

Day 22 // A song that moves you forward
Out of Love - Alessia Cara

Day 23 // A song you think everybody should listen to 
Medicine (E)- Vaines 
(there isn't a song I think everyone should listen to, but this is a unique and different song that I like to recommend)

Day 24 // A song by a band you wish were still together
sugar honey ice & tea - Bring Me The Horizon 
(this band is still together - I don't have an entry for this day so I'm just recommending a song by BMTH because they're one of my favorite different bands I listen to)

Day 25 // A song you like by an artist that is no longer living

Day 26 // A song that makes you want to fall in love
The Few Things - JP Saxe, Charlotte Lawrence
Honorable mentions:
Grow As We Go - Ben Platt
Dawn - Jakes Scott

Day 27 // A song that breaks your heart
Trying My Best - Anson Seabra (CEO of sad music)

Day 28 // A song by an artist whose voice you love
Space Cowboy - Kacey Musgraves

Day 29 // A song you remember from your childhood
Hold My Heart - Tenth Avenue North

Day 30 // A song that reminds you of yourself
Anxiety (E)- Julia Michaels, Selena Gomez
Everybody Hates Me - Vaines (two for Day 30 :))

I hope you enjoyed my song picks for the challenge! Have fun posting your own on your blog or on your Instagram if you have one.

Have you listened to any of these songs? Let me know which ones you've heard and which are your favorites!

~ Amaris // ☆

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

favorite sad music

If I'm being completely honest, sometimes I enjoy being sad.
('E' indicates explicit content)


Oh Wonder // All We Do

Alec Benjamin // Let Me Down Slowly

Novo Amor // State Lines

XXXTENTACION // what are you so afraid of

Billie Eilish // everything i wanted

Julia Michaels // Anxiety (E)

Novo Amor // Anchor

Jeremy Zucker, Chelsea Cutler // you were good to me

NF // Let You Down

Alec Benjamin // Demons

Ruben // Lay By Me

Ben Platt // Grow As We Go

Alessia Cara // Out Of Love

Elaine // Falling

Belle Mt // Hollow (acoustic)

Bring Me The Horizon // Follow You

NF // My Stress

Anson Seabra // Broken (E)

Asking Alexandria // I Won't Give In

Peter Manos // In My Head

Julie Michaels, JP Saxe // If The World Was Ending

LANY // Malibu Nights

Lauv // The Story Never Ends

Matt Maeson // Tribulation

Coldplay // Cry Cry Cry

NF // Time

Alec Benjamin // Mind Is A Prison

Billie Eilish // when the party's over

Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid // 1-800-273-8255 (E)

Anson Seabra // Trying My Best

Oh Wonder // In And Out Of Love


NF // If You Want Love

MarMar Oso // Ruthless (E)

Oh Wonder // White Blood

~ Amaris // ☆

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Psalm 50 : 6
And the heavens declare His righteousness,
For God Himself is judge.

Psalm 89 : 5-6a
The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD;
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD?

Psalm 97 : 6
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples have seen His glory.

Psalm 19 : 1
the heavens are telling of the glory of GOD;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Psalm 8 : 1 
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!

Psalm 57 : 5
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Psalm 57 : 9-11
I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples; 
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens and Your truth to the clouds.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Psalm 113 : 4-6
The LORD is high above all nations;
His glory is above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our GOD,
Who is enthroned on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?

- Amaris //

Thursday, August 15, 2019

how to talk to people (and not die)

Here are some questions I've thought of to start deep conversations with people if you're an introvert like me and are deathly afraid of dislike small talk.

p.s. they actually work- I've tried them myself and it really helps me when I'm in a social situation and I don't know what to say or how to start a conversation.


What's your favorite way to appreciate God? 

Should you ever regret caring, even if it made things worse in the end or it seemed to not matter?

How do you maximize the positive and minimize the negative without ignoring the negative or pretending it doesn't exist?

How do you tell if your way of 'helping' someone becomes enabling to them and their toxic/bad behavior? 

What does spiritual and emotional maturity mean to you?

Do you think we choose God or did He choose us?

Do you think that miracles run out for a person or situation? 

Do relationships define a person? What about a person who doesn’t have a lot of friends? 

Do you think a person's personality changes as they get older? Or do you think it just advances and evolves, while remaining still the same mainly?

What's the best way to learn about something? 

Do you think hatred exists or is it just the absence of love?

At what point do you give up trying to be friends with someone?

What do you like about (or dislike, if they're not a believer!) Christianity? 

Is sharing an opinion worth the risk of embarrassment if you’re wrong? At what point do you think you have enough information to share an opinion and stand by it?

Do you see video games as ultimately good or bad for a person/s character? 

In your opinion, what makes a good movie?


Photo Credit: Me
Well, that's all you guys. Let me know if you use any of these and if they help you at all/what you think of them.

~ Amaris // ☆

Thursday, July 25, 2019

// spending time with God : //

You guys; I can't 'recommend' God enough.

In all the hard times I've been through in the last 9 months or so, I could NOT have gone through it without God.
I mean, I barely got through it at all (for example : I've never had anxiety attacks before, yet so far this year I've had three -_-), but as hard as things were (and still are), God was there for me every step of the way, and I grew to love Him and rely on Him like I never have before.
And I'm still learning!
I'm especially learning that growth with God never stops. Even when I feel like I've learned so much and think I've come so far with Him, He will show me through something in my life that I have still so much to learn!
A relationship with God is never ending, and that's the best thing about Him in my opinion.

Top reasons I love spending time with God:

// spending time with God : puts my problems back in their place //
To me, this is one of the sweetest things about spending time praying to God and reading in His word. All my troubled and anxious thoughts are put into an amazing perspective that only God can give. What things am I worried about, anxious about, angry about, obsessed about that really don't matter very much? Turns out, quite a few.

Photo credit: Me
// spending time with God : gives me ways to relate to other believers //
Ever heard of church friends? My life has improved in countless ways since I started asking advice from mature Christian friends in my life! God has blessed me with several people in particular at my new church who have helped me grow as a woman in God, all because the LORD moved in my heart to open up to them and ask!

// spending time with God : calms my anxiety //
If you're new here, here's a fact about me. I have anxiety. It's rather bad, actually. It comes and goes in waves throughout different periods of my life. For example, in 2016-2017, I was having a really good two years and I had almost no anxiety. For real, I had almost none. It was awesome. But, things in my life started to change (not necessarily in my external life, but actually largely internal) in 2018 and this year, and it's gotten truly bad and difficult to deal with yet again. But during these times, the word of GOD is even more of a comfort to me! I am incredibly blessed with verses such as these :

Psalm 34:17-18
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

Photo credit: Me
// spending time with God : reminds me who i am //
As a girl in her early twenties, I am still learning who I am in this life. Who am I living for? What is my purpose? What paths should I take to glorify God? What friends should I try to make? What friends do I let go of? What kind of friend should I be to others? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? Why do I struggle with this or that? You get the idea. Going back to the perspective thing, spending time with God helps me to hear from Him about who I truly am supposed to be, and puts in perspective the things that I am worried about. That post that I published a bit ago about being single? That came from many hours worth of praying to God and asking Him how He wants me to live my single life, whether it be just for now, or the rest of my life. He has helped me - and is still helping me - see that I don't need another person to be a better version of myself. Believing the lie that I am not complete without "mY oThEr HaLf" would be coming from a place of insecurity and not trusting that God has good plans for me whether they include a significant other or not.

2 Timothy 1:7
for GOD gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

// spending time with God : reminds me who He is //
I truly believe with all of my heart that God is the best thing that can happen to a person. I think this pin describes my thoughts well:
I like those words. "If you KNEW". God is so mighty, and full of blessing and satisfaction! When Paul went to visit the city of Athens, he noticed that the Athenians had many false gods. They were SO religious, in fact, that they even had a statue dedicated 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD' for whatever god they might have missed! Well, needless to say, Paul had their answer. He was passionate about showing the Athenians that the One True God is here! He is not unknown but wants to be known by us! The Athenians worshiped the created things when they could be worshiping the Creator! Of course, some of the Athenians scoffed at Paul's words (you can read the full story in Acts 17 if you want), but the concept is rather simple: having the 'unknown god' but not discovering who He is or getting to know Him is like having an amazing subscription box delivered to your house with all the incredible things inside but not opening it! It doesn't make any sense to do that.
I truly believe that the LORD is the answer to all problems and He is full of blessing, and reading His word and spending time with Him helps me learn and remember all the ways that He is amazing.

I will close with this verse, from one of my favorite books of the Bible during this time:

Psalm 116:7
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

Photo credit: Me
~ Amaris // ☆

What does GOD mean to you? What is the best thing God has done for you lately? What is your favorite way to get to know Him?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Sunshine Blogger Award ☆ (warning : wordy)

Hello, friends!
Emily from Altogether Unexpected tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I kind of feel like I've maybe done this tag before, but I don't really care if I have because, 1. I'm too lazy to search my published posts and see if any post comes up under "sunshine", and 2. I wouldn't care anyways because the questions change with each blogger!
With that said, here we go!

Below are the rules for this award:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them. See above! :)
  2. List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  4. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts. I can already tell you it's not going to be 11 bloggers XD
  5. Ask the nominees 11 new questions.
The Questions:

In what city were you born?
St. Louis, born & raised, and still living here. I've always liked STL!

Which book made you a bibliophile?
All of them. Haha, just kidding. But for real, there was no single book that created a love for reading in me. My love for books really began to take off when I was around 12-14, and some of the most notable books that I enjoyed during that time were the Anne of Green Gables series (which I adored), The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Elizabeth George Speare's books (she only wrote four in her lifetime.. which I am forever remorseful about).

Photo Credit: Me
What is your favorite film?
FOR-REST. GUMP. (*claps on each syllable for emphasis*)
Seriously tho, it's the best, in my opinion. At least so far. There are so many amazing movies out there that I have yet to see.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
I don't really have one specific verse. The LORD has used so many unique and wonderful passages in my life during the last few months to speak to me in a special way.
A few that have been close to my heart lately are:

The righteous cry, and the LORD hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18

Many plans are in a man's heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.
Proverbs 19:21

Photo Credit: Me
Favorite episode of Sherlock? (I know you have all seen it)
UUugh I can't even really talk about my favorite episode cause I know I'm gonna spoil it.   O.o
But I loooove the one in Series 4: The Lying Detective. I haven't seen that particular episode in awhile but the acting is so brilliant and the plot so riveting it gives me chills just remembering it. The Final Problem was also astounding. Stunning. Awesome. Just... all the amazing adjectives. Bless that show.

First foreign country?
I haven't traveled much; I went to Niagara Falls when I was, like, 5. So, Canada. That's it. I'd love to go to Paris someday.

Favorite food?
That's a very hard question! I have many foods I like. The LORD has been laying it on my heart to eat healthier the past few months, so my tastes have all rather changed! I still love me a good bowl of ice cream. And I've been cooking more, so homemade foods are always good. I love cooking with limes. Just, anything that has lime juice in it, I love.

British accents or Scottish accents?
I can't really say because I haven't heard enough of Scottish to distinguish it from British. I can tell you this, however: whenever I watch a show with a British accent I have to put on subtitles. *shrug*

First Marvel film?
I tried Captain America a few years ago and *hated* it. In fact, I kinda hate the whole Marvel franchise. I feel like it's just a big money-maker anyways. But there are some things I like. Spider-Man, for one. Take any Spider-Man and I could watch it on any evening chilling at my apartment and that would be an enjoyable time for me. Any other Marvel movie.. can't say the same thing.
But anyways, to answer the question, the first Marvel movie was Captain America, but the first one I liked was the first Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire.

Who is your favorite British actor/actress?
Aiden Turner // Ross Poldark. I never thought he was great as Kili, and then when I saw him as Ross I was absolutely sure of it. The man was BORN to play Ross. UuGgh I just get chills thinking of how freaking good he is as Ross. Let me put it this way; you haven't gotten the full Aiden Turner experience until you've seen him as Ross Poldark.
With that being said, here are a few notable others:
Helena Bonham Carter (A dazzling and uniquely lovely woman of the industry)
Benedict Cumberbatch (because Sherlock and The Imitation Game)
Among others. I know I'm probably forgetting a few that I love.

Photo Credit: Me
When did you start blogging, and why?
When I was around 16-17, my best friend told me about Hayden Wand's then current blog, The Story Girl. If you can believe it, at the time I didn't really know what a blog was. But I started reading Hayden's and soon others, and became fascinated with the book-reading, period drama-watching, story-writing girls who put their thoughts and little tags on blogs to share with their small corners of the internet world. I thought "I like to write, I like to read, I like period dramas. This looks rather fun, I could do it." I was a bit nervous to start and wanted my writing to be like everyone else' I read, so I set everything up and published my first post in September of 2015 (here it is if you're interested notice how much different and rather fake and airy the writing is compared to now because back then I was writing like all the blogs I loved because I didn't know how to express my own voice [which I'm still learning, btw]).
So yeah. I've been blogging since without being consistent at all, but I think I've come a long way, and I'm happy with my current 30 followers. It's never been about numbers for me; I definitely wanted the bloggers I loved most to love my blog (namely Naomi Sarah from Wonderland Creek and Hayden Wand from her blog back then The Story Girl), but as the years have gone by and God has taught me many things about the various social medias I have been apart of, it doesn't really matter who loves me or my writing and who doesn't.
I'm blogging and writing what I want to say because I enjoy it and God sometimes speaks to my heart things to write. Maybe you're encouraged by what you read here, maybe you're not. I will keep blogging until the LORD says stop. <3

Well that turned into a huge backstory, haha.

But anywho, that is the end of the list of questions from Emily! Thank you again, Emily! :)

For this award, I nominate:
Tessa // This Great Adventure
Natalie // Starry Eyes
Abbie // Chronicles in Bloom
Lissa // An Attempt to be Classic
Mary Liz // Sunshine and Scribblings
Rachel // A Girl's Place

I'm very behind on my blog-reading (I've got all I can handle just to post on my own blog every once in awhile, haha), so I don't know if any of the above bloggers have answered the questions for this award before! If you have, feel free to skip. Or you can do the award again with my questions!

Here are my 11 questions: 
1. What is your favorite season of the year and why?
2. What do you want to be "when you grow up"? (and if you're already grown up, what are you doing or what do you want to do someday?)
3. What's the most obscure and unique song you love to listen to?
4. Do you prefer sunshine or rain better? (I expect a detailed explanation as to why you feel the way you do! *insert intellectual emoji here*)
5. How do you usually listen to music (Spotify, YouTube, Google Play, Apple Music, etc.)?
6. Favorite black-and-white 'old timey' movie?
7. A fun fact that most people don't know about you?
8. Best memory of 2019 so far?
9. What's your favorite thing to do on the internet?
10. What's the longest you've ever gone without internet?
11. What's the most obscure piece of information you remember from school?

Photo Credit: Me
~ Amaris // ☆

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Flower Fades

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but so far 2019 has been crazy for me. I don't mean bad, necessarily... well, a lot of it has been, unfortunately, bad. But a lot of it is good.
And a lot of it is neither good nor bad, just different.
I'm trying to keep up with it all, to be honest. 
There's too many changes.

The most recent change being... I lost my job at the embroidery place that I have worked for 2 years.
Oh, don't worry- I didn't get FIRED exactly. They just had to let me go because the business is (sadly) dying. Our owner was busy trying to run another business, and as a result we weren't able to get the maintenance we needed to fix certain issues that were keeping us from getting business, such as faulty phone lines, faulty (and very old) email accounts, our software which was infected with a virus, among other things.
It's a sad way to end, but that's the way it is sometimes.
Businesses die.
The strong becomes weak.
The rich become poor.
The first become last.

Everything changes.

I think there's a sort of brain complex that people get- I'm not sure the psychological term (or if there even is one), but I feel like the human mind tends to think as if things will never change. Oh, we believe that change exists, and we even look forward to it at times. We are not surprised when the season of the year changes, or when we buy a new device, or when we get a new haircut. We look forward to and even plan for those changes.

But I think when certain things actually do change, we're caught off guard.
Especially when the things we thought never would change, do. Like relationships. You're with someone you love, and you imagine as you laugh together that things will always be this way. But chances are they won't. Time goes on and you watch them become a stranger. Changes like that are a unique level of pain. And yet, they are surprisingly freeing..?
I don't know. It's weird to think about.

Anyways, that's happened a lot with me this year. Literally every month so far in 2019, there has been a change so in my life. Some of them quite major.
Being let go of this job being one of the major ones, especially since it was unexpected.

There is a verse in the Bible that I think of during times of change.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our GOD will stand forever." Isaiah 40:8

Rather poetic, isn't it? It is sad, yet hopeful. That is the way with most seasons of change. It is sad, and often a very difficult time, but where would we be if we never moved on? How would we learn, grow, and flourish, if we are never torn from our comfortable cubby holes? (am i channeling Gandalf's energy right now..? i don't know.. but if i am, it wouldn't be a bad thing).

Life isn't meant to stagnate. It's meant to flow and change course and ripple... like a stream on a spring day.

I will always look back fondly on that job. It wasn't even like a job. I never clock-watched there. I never wondered or waited impatiently for my "shift" to end because there were no shifts. I went to that old house in the morning and opened everything up, and at closing time I closed everything down and locked the door behind me. I didn't pay attention to the time there because I loved all my various tasks there and never wondered when or wished I would be finished.

If it was a slow day (the kind which increasingly grew towards the end of my employment), I would do my Bible study or read a book at the front counter, stashing it away if a customer came up the front steps.
While being employed there I went through some of the hardest times of my life, and some days I loved being at work more than I loved being at my own cramped home. They say home is where your heart is most happy and comfortable. If that is true, my job was my home.
So, in a way, I've left not two, but three homes in the last year and a half.
Take the emotional (and physical toll) that moving once puts on a person, and triple it. Now you can understand why my heart feels like I've lost a dear friend.

I'm only 21, but honestly I feel so old
What will I feel like at 71, I wonder.

I know I care about things too much. I put care and love into things and then it changes or gets taken away. Why do I do that to myself? It's as if I like letting myself down. To quote Michael Scott: "I am ready to get hurt again."

Last year, Owl City (one of my favorite musical artists since I was 16) finally came out with a new long- awaited album, Cinematic. One of the songs was "Firebird", and in it there is a lyric:

Tell me why I look back, and I want to cry,
Sometimes I feel like we grew up too fast.
You and I had the time of our younger lives,
Sometimes I sigh and think about the past.

But it's alright, 'cause everything changes.

If 2019 keeps up like this, I think I might have to name those lines the official lyrics to describe my 2019. We'll see when I post my new year's post in December. *shrug*

Well anyways.
I'm gonna end this post now. It's admittedly sappy and sad and if it's all the same to you I think I'll just post this and forget I ever wrote it.
It is a lovely evening. It's summertime and almost twilight and the sunlight is streaming through my window, casting golden stripes onto my stacks of books on top of my dresser. So I want to go take a walk in my backyard and enjoy the cool evening temperature.

Here's a picture if it seems like I'm just making the golden sunlight part up to sound even more sappy:

Goodbye, friends.

~ Amaris // ☆

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Spring // 2019

I got to hang out with my best friend:
It was really good to connect again because our busy lives kept us apart for almost 3 months... which is too long. We also decided to read 'The Circle Series' at the same time (a re-read for me) so that we could compare opinions. It's quite a series to swallow, but I am excited to go through it again.

I went to my third ever baseball game and rather enjoyed it:
Watching baseball in real life is more fun than I remember, and definitely more fun than watching it on TV. Apparently the STL Cardinals haven't been doing well this season; but I wouldn't know. All I know is they creamed the opponent on the night I went with my mom and sister and it was very enjoyable.

I spent a lot of time sick:
I endured a miserable three weeks with nausea, constipation, and jaundice, and it eventually put me in the hospital. They never did figure out what it was, and I got better naturally soon after the hospital visit. Most of the doctors thought it was Hepatitis A, but every time they tested for that it was negative. I am feeling great and I'm back to normal now, so... whatever it was it's gone now *shrug*.

We moved:
This time last year we moved into an apartment, but but as soon as our one year lease was over in May, we moved to a slightly larger (and nicer) townhouse, which I'm very happy with. I have my own room again! And I have a perfect view of the Western sky, and have been enjoying the sunsets every evening I'm home. God has truly blessed me in many ways.

I watched some movies and shows:
Five Feet Apart (2019)
It was ok- but not great. Pretty cliche and melodramatic. I feel like I would've liked it better had I seen it when I was closer to 16, but I'm 21 and it didn't do much for me.

The Office (2005-2013)
Not the cleanest show, and I'll probably not re-watch certain episodes, but it's very funny and extremely quotable. I can see why millions of people like the show. I feel like it's almost worth a one time watch-thru at least. For appropriate audiences. Idk.

Breakthrough (2019)
It was ok. It was kinda surreal watching a movie about an event that happened very close to my own hometown. It wasn't great but it wasn't a bad movie altogether.

Julie & Julia (2009)
What a sweet and heartwarming movie!! I watched it late one night with my mom, who also loved it.  I love Amy Adams soo much! I don't love Meryl Streep as well but she was good in this movie. I think there was a few cuss words but definitely worth a watch.

Smokey & The Bandit (1977)
Kinda funny, a little bit exciting, a tiny bit sweet, overall not really my thing. Sally Field helped a bit, as she is one of my favorite actresses. Overall, probably won't watch again.

The Matrix (1999)
Very intriguing. It wasn't my type of movie, and it didn't "change my life" the way some male family members told me it would, but I can see why it was revolutionary for it's time and why it was a huge hit, and it did get me thinking a little bit. Also I'm a Keanu Reeves fan now. Bless.

The Founder (2016)
SO FRUSTRATING AND UNFAIR. But also good. I loved it an hated it. Ugh.

Julie & Julia (2009)

I started reading books again:
~The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (currently reading)
~Scarlet - Marissa Meyer (finished)
~Cress - Marissa Meyer (currently reading)
~Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart - Bethany Beal & Kristen Clark (currently reading)
~Conscience - Andrew David Naselli & J. D. Crowley (currently reading)
~Where We Belong - Lynn Austin (finished!) Here's a post about it.
~The Circle Series - Ted Dekker (just started)

I am writing VBS lessons:
My VBS partner and I will be teaching the VBS lessons at our church again this year- we are teaching from the book of Acts about Paul's second missionary journey! The theme of this year's VBS is Athens - so everything is Greek themed! We're going to wear togas and leaf headpieces. It's coming up soon.. on July 15th. I can't wait!

On June 19th, my favorite job I've ever held had to let me go:
A small post is coming soon about that.

I tried being positive:
A post is coming soon about that as well.

A Few Other Things:
~It rained a lot, and some tornadoes almost tore apart my city. But we survived.
~God is faithful when I am faithless. He's also unchanging.Thank God.
~I have the best friend I could ask for.
~I discovered arguably the greatest most practical YouTube channel for introverts and people with social anxiety (like me...): Charisma on Command. Check it out. The psychology is super intriguing. And there's a recent episode on Keanu Reeves and introversion... i am cri.
~God used 2 Samuel 11-12 and Psalm 32 to change my life.

~Bee Gees "Too Much Heaven". I love those chill vibes. ☀
~Studio Ghibli Piano Music. Perfect for taking a walk with a twilight sunset.
~BTS "Make It Right". Pretty much any BTS song is guaranteed good vibes.
~Queen "Spread Your Wings". A newly 'discovered' Queen song for me.

Spring Words:

☆ // Amaris // ☆

How was your Spring? Did you do anything you've never done before? What has God done in your life lately?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Where We Belong // Lynn Austin

I just finished the book and wrote the review on Goodreads, when I decided to post it here as well. 

My Review:
Overall, the book wasn't my favorite Lynn Austin book. She is such a good writer, and I admire so much of her work. This book wasn't badly written. It wasn't boring. It wasn't frustrating.
It just wasn't great.
It wasn't 'Hidden Places', it wasn't 'Wonderland Creek', and in my opinion the execution of each character's backstory was better carried out in 'Eve's Daughters' than in 'Where We Belong'.
This book was special in it's own way, and had it's heart-wrenching, heart-warming, lovely and moving moments that left me thanking God that He is the way He is. Yes, this is a fiction story. But God is very real. His love is the realest thing you can experience.
Austin did a stunning job with this book in particular of bringing His loving and redemptive nature to life throughout the story, in the way the sisters cared, served and shown incredible mercy, grace, and love to certain characters in the book.
I also really loved the way everything came together at the end of the book. This happy ending story wasn't without heartbreak, which is a reminder that we never know how God will work. You never know how He will use you in ways that you can't imagine, and might never comprehend until heaven. It was a blessed reminder that it doesn't matter where you've been, what you've done, who you were in your past. Jesus flips that upside down. He's dying (literally- and rising again) to reach out to those very people.
In the words of 'The Pilgrim's Progress':

"Apollyon accused, "You almost fainted when you first set out, when you almost choked in the Swamp of Despond. You also attempted to get rid of your burden in the wrong way, instead of patiently waiting for the Prince [GOD] to take it off. You sinfully slept and lost your scroll, you were almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions, and when you talk of your journey and of what you have heard and seen, you inwardly desire your own glory in all you do and say."

To which Christian simply replies:

"All this is true, and much more that you have failed to mention...But the Prince [GOD] whom I now serve and honor is merciful and ready to forgive. Besides, these infirmities possessed me while I was in your country, for there I allowed them to come in. But I have groaned under them, have been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon from my Prince."

The LORD only can say who you are, what you are. No mistakes you've made can define you, as well as no good thing you can do. You will find this nowhere else, including religions. When religion demands "do", Christ states simply, "done".

But back to reviewing the book.

To be honest, the book helped me in my personal journey of loving and submitting to God in my own heart during this particular season of my life, and I've been a 'believer' for close to 10 years now (I've been churched all my life and I said "the prayer" at age 9, but I didn't really begin to grasp God's love for me and live my life for Him until I was closer to 12-14)! Who knows what God will do with my path as the years go on and my journey of life continues. It is my resolve to trust Him as He guides me along the way.
I love how so much of the sister's life was included, and how it all came to a beautiful and satisfying conclusion of how God brought things together, as is His way.
That's why, while not as good as some, this book has a special place in my heart and I will always connect it in my mind to the season that I am personally walking through right now.


Well, that is all. I just wanted to share my thoughts. This book holds a special place in my heart for another reason - when I first received it for my birthday in January of 2018, I was still in my old childhood home. Everything in my life has prevented me from reading and enjoying books since then - including moving twice. I tried reading this book several times, only to read a chapter or two and then leave it for weeks untouched before being able to pick it up and focus again. It's been a difficult year and a half since I read the first chapter and so many things in my life have changed I can't even count them all- but a few things have remained constant. The LORD, and my underlying love for books, reading, and imagination, even while not having the time or the  mental energy to focus on enjoying them. My heart for those things was still there-lying beneath the surface as everything I thought I could count on in my life practically dissolved before my eyes.

Only in the last month, I've finally started to come back to my old way of doing things. My old hobbies, my old enjoyments, my old state of mental health. It's still rough, but God is still there. He is my constant Companion when everyone around me fails me or lets me down- and in being so, proving He's different and can be trusted. I don't ever want to take a break from books again- I hope that in the future, no matter what difficulties or trials I walk through, I will always come from a healthy place in my mind where I can focus on and enjoy a well-written story.
This is the book that I began at the beginning of that 'taking-a-break-from-books-and-everything-i-found-pleasure-in' season, and 'Where We Belong' ended just now... as that season is coming to an end. I'm not sure of very many things, but I'm quite sure that Lynn Austin books will always mean a lot to me.

That's all, friends.
I hope you've having a good day!

What about you? Have you read this book? What did you think of it? What book or author means a lot to you?

-Amaris ☆

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Waiting for Nothing

When I was 14, I read all the best Christian books about purity and singleness.
You name it, I read it.
"How to wait for God's best with a romantic relationship", "How to serve God while waiting", etc. (those aren't actual titles but you get the idea).
I felt really good about reading those books. And what's more, I felt confident in my ability to 'wait for God's best'.
Life went on, and I waited, like the books told me to.
It went pretty well. I kept waiting.
To be honest, it was easy. I was 15, 16, 17, who needs a relationship anyway? Certainly not me! None of my friends had boyfriends and they were were single too. It was all good. I kept waiting.

I'm 21 now... and I'm still 'waiting'.
Yeah, I know I'm still young, and a lot can happen as the years go on. But the problem is, for some reason back then I thought that 'waiting' would get easier the longer I did it. Well, that's not true. It actually gets harder. 
The main reason it's harder is because many people my age are getting into relationships. They're kissing each other. They're getting engaged. Married. And they're my age.
What's more, most of these couples are clearly following God's will and serving Him - together.
To be honest, it would be easier if they were all pursuing sinful relationships.
But they're not.
They're serving God, and they're working hard.
But wait...
I'm doing those things too.
So... where's my godly romantic relationship?
Man that's hard.
Feelings of doubt and fear and even anger and jealously make a home in my mind.

I entertain anxiety: by wondering if I'm not good enough. What can I do to be good enough so God will give me my heart's desire? I might struggle with social anxiety because I'm afraid no one will like me. (Philippians 4:6)

I struggle with doubt: I ask myself if it's truly God's plan that I never meet someone and marry, what if being single all my life is not going to be good enough? I don't know if I trust God with my happiness. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I battle anger & jealousy: why should other couples have what I want? Why should they have their romantic desires fulfilled when I am serving God just as much, maybe more? I'm the one who deserves this. I find myself getting annoyed when people talks about couples. I struggle praying for other couple's relationships. I try to avoid hanging out with couples because spending time with people who have what I want is hurtful to me (mostly my pride). (Philippians 4:19, Philippians 2:3)

I don't know if any of these sound familiar.
Maybe you're struggling too. Maybe you're not.
In my case, I have to learn, first of all, to recognize the entertainment of these thoughts for what they are; Sin. Specifically, discontentment. (Isaiah 64:6)
Discontentment is the umbrella sin above every sin listed above. Anxiety, fear, worry, doubt, anger, jealousy, bitterness. It all stems from not being content in what God has given me. You know what they say, the grass is always greener. So what's at the root of discontentment? Unbelief.

Being discontent is not believing that God has this under control.
It's not trusting that He knows best, and knows what He's doing with my life. Like I said above, it's worrying that God's plan for me isn't good enough.
What a distorted, twisted mess sin makes things!
The good news is, no matter the struggle, there's always hope.
I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. (Psalms 42:11)

No matter the lies, there are always truths from God to replace them.
The first thing I want to point out is this: Sin distorts what God meant to be good. It's ok to want a romantic partner. It's ok to desire an intimate relationship. It's natural and healthy. That's why God created romance! He is the Founder and Author of romantic intimacy.
But when they are allowed to mix with negative thoughts and fester in the mind, these natural and godly desires can turn into so many unhealthy and sinful desires.
So, what can we do? What can I do?
I am still struggling with this; every single day. (Romans 6:17)

But here's what God has been telling me about being single.
First of all, let's clear this up: No matter what you've heard in Hallmark movies, there's not 'someone for everyone'. If you're single and hoping to get married some day, listen to this. You. Might. Never. Get. Married.
I know... I'm a dream crusher. But consider this for a second:
What if you start living your life as if you'll never get married? What would that look like?
What if you begin making a better life for yourself right now; instead of waiting to make a life with someone else (the 'love of your life') some day?
Believe me, you don't want to look back one day (married or not!) and wish and wonder why you didn't grab hold of God's best life for you while you could.
Live your best life for God NOW!
Create a life for yourself that you are so in love with that even if you don't get married, you'll barely miss it.

Imagine the flip-side.
Imagine spending years 'waiting' and 'preparing' yourself to be married one day, only to discover at one point or another that it's not in God's plan for you to be married... ever?
All those years I spent holding onto that romantic movie quote; 'There's someone for everyone'?
What an absolute waste of time. (Proverbs 14:12)
The truth is: I am a whole person; a beautiful, amazing, complete, happy person, without anyone else. I should not be spending my time waiting or searching for 'my other half' because I'M NOT A HALF. This is true not just for me, but everyone who reads this.

You've probably heard many people say that life is about waiting.
It's true, we wait for many things in life. Life includes waiting. But I believe that life is, in fact, not about waiting. Especially for things that might not ever happen.
Life is about growing in the LORD, and trusting Him no matter what He gives. It's about taking what He gives me and relying on Him to help me make the most of it. Because what I have, what you have, is truly amazing with or without a relationship. (Psalms 9:10)

Will I be happy if the LORD gives me a husband one day? Yes.
Will I be happy if I never get married as long as I live? Still yes.

And guess what? You will too. (Psalm 37:4)
So that's my message for you. That's my takeaway from this post, and I hope it encourages someone. Trust God with your future, as He is reminding me, every single day, to trust Him with mine. (Psalm 115:11, Matthew 11:28) Maybe not everyone who reads this post will have these same struggles. But I certainly do. And if you do too, this is for you.

Wait for nothing.

// Amaris //

p.s. Thank you for all the sweet comments on my last post <3
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