Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beautiful People || June Edition || Bethany's Characters

For this month's Beautiful People post, I'll be digging into the childhood of Porcia, the daughter in the household my MC Milo belongs to.

She actually won't be keeping the name Porcia, because after a little more research into Roman names, I found daughters' names were usually derivatives of their family name. That would make her name Cassia, which I like too, especially since Porcia is actually derived the word for pig. :) I didn't know that when I originally named her.

But as I'm only about half way through the first draft, she'll keep Porcia for now so it won't be confusing.

1)What is their first childhood memory?
One of her clearest early memories is of a time her father brought a pet quail home from his travels, and it would follow Porcia about the garden.

2)What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

Hmm, her first four years of life were a pretty good experience, until the birth of her little brother Junius. He cried constantly, and took all of Mother and Nurse's attention, leaving Porcia rather lonely. But Milo, who would have been about 12 at the time, would be around to cheer her up.

3)What was their childhood home like?

She and her family still live in her childhood home in the city of Salonae. It's not a mansion, but it's a fairly large home with an open atrium, garden/courtyard, and an upper level where the family bedrooms are. Her father often had guests over for business deals, and sometimes he would ask Porcia to sing for them after supper. She would be shy at first, but her sweet young voice always garnered lots of praise, and she enjoyed the attention.

4)What’s something that scared them as child?

Storms always frightened her- the way the sky would grow dark in the day time, the howling wind, and the house shaking thunder. Her nurse would tell her it was just Jupiter showing off his power, but that never gave her much comfort.

5)Who did they look up to most?

  Her mother, who always seemed so put-together and patient, even with her little brother's fiery temper. She also looked up to Milo, even though he's a slave for her family. She admired his kind heart, and how he would be there for her when she needed him, even if it was just to bring her spirits up.

6)Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

   Porcia has always loved sweets, her favorite being a kind of fried doughnut with orange cream inside.  Her least favorite food was a crushed herb salad, that her mother loved, but she could never stand.

7)If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?

  Sometimes she wishes she would have tried to get along with her brother better, but other then that, no.

8)What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

   Porcia was a pretty well behaved child, although she had her moments of willfulness. She was fairly quiet, and spend a lot of time playing alone.

9)What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?

    Her father was gone quite often, but he always tried to spend time with her when he was home, and would be her gifts from the places he went to. Her mother was busy, but Porcia stayed close with her. And then there's Junius. You've already gotten a glimpse of their relationship. They never got along very well, and he was always messing with her things.

10)What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?

   Porcia knew she wouldn't have much choice in the matter, as soon as she was old enough, her father would find someone to marry her. She hoped she could do as good a job as her mother had done. As you know from the Valentine's edition of this linkup, she marries Quintus, and she gets a little taste of having a family and household of her own before the storms come. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Warning: Leaving Comfort Zone

No, this picture really has nothing to do with the post.
Except for the fact that you may feel like someone is holding a tiny cannon to you when they ask you to do something out of your comfort zone.
Hey, I tried making it fit. :)
It's Don and Phil Everly by the way.

Comfort zone is an interesting phrase.

What does it mean?

An area in our realm of skill, knowledge, experience, where it's easy to do things, not stressful, but familiar and comfortable.

More often then not, we use it as an excuse. We say something "isn't in our comfort zone", and that's really just a euphemism to say, "we would feel uncomfortable in that situation, and don't want to do it".

Go introduce yourself to that person- No, that's not in my comfort zone.

Hey, you should head up this project- Nope, not in my comfort zone, I'm not a leader.

You should call so-in-so and ask about..- Call someone on the phone? That's definitely not in my comfort zone.

(I know introverts can relate to this, but if you are an extrovert, you'll have to come up with your own examples) :)

Or mine this week:

"I need you to be a dorm leader for Teen Camp this week"- "What? What? Whoa, whoa!" (this really needs a sound clip to do it justice. For those of you who listen to AIO, all I should need to say is Abraham and Isaac)

I love working with kids, but teens are scary, they're outside my "comfort zone".

I wasn't a typical teeneger, so I find them hard to relate to. I know pretty much nothing about social media drama, boyfriends, and whatever else. 

But I do know these will be girls with faults and shortcomings, just like me, that God loves, and cares for, sent His Son to die in their place, and it's my privilege to share that with them during this week of camp.

A scary privilege, but a privilege none the less.

But why should it be scary? Why should I be nervous about leaving the area I'm comfortable being in?

It's in our weakness that God shows His strength, right?

I was talking to Marie, the camp director's wife, and such an amazing lady, and she was saying how it's so much better when we aren't confident in our own efforts and knowledge, because then God can work through us and use us.

I certainly don't have confidence in my own efforts, but did I have a humble trust in God to use me? 

Out of my comfort zone meant out of my control. I could mess up, fail, be embarrassed.

That's not humbly knowing my shortcomings and depending on God to work through me.

That's pride, and self focus.

I don't think it's good to squish who you are in a personality type box, but it is interesting to see aspects of who you are reflected through tests like the Myer-briggs one. 
I found this on Pinterest, and could relate it.

This isn't true about everything I do, but I do like learning things by myself, so that when other people see me doing them, I can do it pretty well and not embarrass myself. I don't like practicing in front of others, asking for help in a rough draft of writing, or jumping into to something with no previous experience. (Although I have survived situations of that kind.) :)

But again, that's pride. Just because I don't have confidence in my own efforts, doesn't mean I shouldn't do it.

If God has placed me here this summer, and given me a job to do. He will provide what I need to it, and then the glory will go to it's rightful place, to Him, and not me.

What do I know compared to the knowledge of my all-knowing God? Isn't it so much better to trust in Him, instead of my own measly "comfort zone"?

We shouldn't even have a comfort zone- an area where we can trust in ourselves that things will be ok. Because absolutely everything in is God's control, and the process of our sanctification will involve the weeding out of things like self dependence, selfishness, and pride, things I often struggle with. 

The theme of camp this year is "Drink Deep", going along with the story in John 4 with the woman at the well.

Anything we try to do on our own to fulfill our needs is useless without God. Only He can provide the living water that will strengthen and sustain us through His power. 
We need to drink deep in that, through reading His word, through prayer, and through fellowship with other believers.

Camp staff 2016

I'm not alone at camp. If I don't know what to do, there's lots of people I could turn to for help. And best of all, God will be with me, and any spiritual insight I can give these teen girls this week will from Him.

How about you?
What lessons has God been teaching you this summer?
Do you have a hard time leaving your "comfort zone"?

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen."
Hebrews 13:20-21

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fit for a Parlor

Free stuff is cool, isn't it? Especially when it looks like this.
A friend gave me these a while back, and I finally got the opportunity to work on them!

Yes, they're in rough shape, but aren't they beautiful?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

If you've read "What Thou Need'st", you'll recognize the above picture as Allan, my mysterious minstrel. I can't take any credit for it, I found it on Pinterest. But it's very cool, don't you agree?

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