Showing posts from July, 2014

Blessings in the midst of pain

I've faced some hard things in my life -- things I never saw coming. And I've watched friends endure suffering, trials, and hardships in the past few years that I would never have expected them to go through. But I am so encouraged that through it all, God is faithful.

I was really touched by this blog post from my college friend, Amalia, who recently went through the heartbreak of her newborn daughter passing away just 19 minutes after she was born. Amalia shares,

"My blessings did not come through the exact answers to my prayers. But I have learned that a blessing does not have to be an exact answer to my prayers. Sometimes God chooses a different path for us to walk. 

That road is not always the happy and sunny road. Sometimes we must face the storms, and the rain. Sometimes the path God chooses for us brings countless days filled with tears. Sometimes the path God chooses for us includes night after sleepless night. Sometimes the path God chooses for us seems like it wi…

3 Short Updates

1. I realized last week that I’m going to be about 40 years old when I finish sponsoring Adelce. I love that I have the chance to invest in her life over a long period of time … and I’m sure curious what my life will be like at the age of 40!

2. Dave and I completed our very first garage sale, which was on our summer to-do list! I’d call it a moderate success! We made about $60 and met a bunch of our neighbors.  :)

3. Dave got me a cactus for Valentine’s Day this year—he knows me so well! It was growing so fast, I started to measure it. The cactus started out about 2 ½ inches tall. Right now, it stands at 6 ½ inches tall! (YAY! I finally found a plant I can keep alive!!!)

What I love about my Chromebook 11

I’m a writer, so having a laptop is important to me. When I realized that my old laptop was probably in its last days, I started to poke around to find out what might be a good replacement.

I’m so glad I decided to try out a Chromebook.

Here’s why:

1. I don’t have to worry about losing my latest draft of something.
Instead of being saved to my computer, my work is saved online. I used to use a USB drive to back up all my work to ensure I would have another copy if my computer suddenly died. Now, I know I can access all my documents and drafts from any device that’s hooked up to the internet. I can see the latest drafts of everything instantly!

2. I saved money.
Instead of buying the whole Microsoft suite like I did for my last laptop, I am able to save everything to my Google Drive using “Google Docs,” which is similar to Word. I also found out that (bonus!) Google Docs auto-saves everything as I’m working on a document. Plus, Chromebooks are much cheaper than traditional laptops. (All …

The Cure for Hiccups

I don't know about you, but I've tried a lot of hiccup "remedies" over the years, and some of them are pretty strange.

Now, I am no scientist, but I can tell you that I finally found a hiccup remedy that works flawlessly for me. I've shared this cure with other hiccup sufferers, too, and it's worked for every one of them so far as well!

So, next time you get stuck with a bad case of the hiccups, give this a try:

Pick long words that you know and spell them backwards out loud. 

To make things easier, I recommend starting with names of states, like California, Connecticut, Delaware, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, etc. On the spot, think of as many names of U.S. states as you can ... and spell them backwards out loud (no cheating by reading the letters off of a page!).

Let me know if it works for you or someone you know!

My poem about "The Scarlet Letter"

I've dabbled in many parts of the writing universe—including poetry! But I haven’t shared much of my poetry publicly … until now. I've decided it's time to open up a bit of my poetry to the world by sharing some of it here on my blog. 
*deep breath*
So, here’s a poem I wrote several years ago based on the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. (If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to read the synopsis here before diving into my poem below.) 
The Scarlet Letter Poem by Laurel Dykema
A fair countenance A trustworthy face Melodious voice and  Great Preacher of grace
Beneath this fa├žade a burning lie that blisters and festers all white-hot and dry
Hot tears splatter upon his chest there Reminding him of The mark he should bear
That Hester should suffer in public disgrace Wore at his heart As he preached, as he paced
The scaffold he knew Was escape for his shame Confessing his guilt Would mean death to his name
As he mounted the steps All short of breath From his pou…

Gift Ideas for Compassion Child

I sponsor a little girl who lives in Indonesia through Compassion International.

Her name is Adelce.

I love writing her short letters to share about my life and encourage her. I've had so much fun getting creative and thinking of flat, inexpensive items I can mail to Adelce to brighten her day and bring a smile to her face, too!

Learn more about Adelce (and another girl I started sponsoring named Rhoda!) here.

So far, I've mailed some duct tape crafts -- including a bracelet and a little coin purse. (I have to say, I love all the fun colors and patterns duct tape has these days!) Here's another duct tape craft I'm planning to send soon: a bookmark!

I often send stickers, too (because really, who doesn't love stickers?!). I'm a fan of sparkly stickers, animal stickers, and puffy stickers. I also purchased a cheap set of regular stickers and use them to decorate the letters I send to Adelce. One of these days, I'm planning to write to her using some colorful s…

Caterpillar to butterfly

When I was a very young girl, I picked out my first pair of glasses. They were pink (of course!) and had a tiny pink butterfly in one corner.

The glasses made a HUGE difference in my perceptions.

Before glasses, I saw a blurry, confusing world—but when I put my first pair of glasses on, I saw my surroundings with perfect clarity. I wonder if that’s a little what Heaven will be like … that when I leave behind this “caterpillar” body and am raised with my new perfect body, I’ll finally see God, myself, my life, and the world with perfect clarity.

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” - 2 Corinthians 5:1



2 Corinthians 12:7-10, "...there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Boasting about weaknesses?

That is such a foreign thought. If you’re like me, you find your own weaknesses to be embarrassing. I don’t like to be thought of as weak by other people, and it’s difficult for me to admit my faults. Yet, I am weak—just like Paul admits he is in this passage.

In this passage, the thorn in Paul's flesh is spoken of as "a messenger of Satan." Satan meant this torment for evil, but God uses it as a way to show h…

Piqued, peeked, or peaked?

I have many pet peeves when it comes to grammatical errors, but there's one I've been seeing a LOT lately:

People are confusing piqued, peeked, and peaked.

Here are some correct sample sentences:

The mystery piqued my interest!He peeked into the cupboard.The artist peaked in the 1870s.
Thank you. You may now return to your normally scheduled activities.