Monday, January 20, 2014

The Buried Life Project

Project visuals:

The Buried Life Project
Author’s Note:
“Your daughter has cancer,” is one of the many things that parents never want to hear. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what my parent’s heard on the eve of my first Christmas. Quite often I find myself pondering what I’m supposed to do in life. I wonder about what God wants me to accomplish and I wonder about why I’m even here when I so easily could’ve been killed by the cancer inside of me. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Most people react poorly when you bring up God or the Bible. People don’t want to hear about what you are willing to do for God, but they’d like to know what God can do for them. Throughout my life, God has shown me so many things that He can do, not just for me, but for everyone. God sent His Son to save our souls. Isn’t that enough in and of itself? Not only will He save your soul, but He will open the eyes of your heart, calm your anxious soul, and bring you true joy.  
     To be totally honest, I have no clue where I’ll be in a year or even in a few months. The one thing that I do know, however, is that God will be my solid Rock throughout every decision and resume I make. I’m so beyond thankful for the God of angel armies who is always by my side.

1.)    Write a novel/ have it published
2.)    Become a police officer
3.)    Learn to surf
4.)    Own a bakery with my fam and/or bestie
5.)    Go to the Vessels of Honor and/or Rise Up conference
6.)    Run a marathon
7.)    Go out witnessing
8.)    Go on a spur of the moment trip
9.)    Get my license
10.)  Own a husky
11.)  Look sexy in a toque (Canadian Girls –Dean Brody reference)
12.)  Own a ranch for disadvantaged and/or disabled kids
13.)  Go hunting
14.)  Go back to Texas (Going next month!!)
15.)  See the Rocket Summer, House of Heroes, and Switchfoot
16.)  Read the whole Bible cover to cover
17.)  Finish reading Will Our Generation Speak by Grace Mally
18.)  Finish reading Glories Seen and Unseen by Warren Henderson
19.)  Learn to knit
20.)  Finish the third volume of my Dear Future Husband journals
21.)  Learn how to hockey stop
22.)  Donate blood
23.)  Donate my hair for cancer
24.)  Meet the girl that was named after me
25.)  Go on a missions trip
26.)  Go to Italy
27.)  Wear a jean skirt to a Bible conference just for fun
28.)  Learn the Napoleon Dynamite dance
29.)  Adopt a child/children
30.)  Go mudding
31.)  Go snowmobiling
32.)  Meet the Robertsons
33.)  Graduate
34.)  Drive a truck
35.)  Shoot a gun
36.)  Go fishing for dinner
37.)  Go camping
38.)  Go hiking
39.)  Make a YouTube channel
40.)  Meet the BlimeyCow cast
41.)  Try moose meat
42.)  Drive standard like a pro
43.)  Grow my hair passed my waist
44.)  Milk a cow
45.)  Own a baby pig
46.)  Help build a house
47.)  Learn to make perogies
48.)  Grow my own food
49.)  Eat at least 6 more Terry’s oranges
50.)  Live in ‘the country’
51.)  Go to Colorado
52.)  Learn to play guitar
53.)  Bring all of the fresh flowers from my wedding to an old folks home and hand them out to all of the women there
54.)  Be the actual maid of honor in my brother’s wedding
55.)  Spend at least 2 weeks totally gluten free
56.)  Rock climbing
57.)  Donate as many of my worldly possessions as possible
58.)  Eat noodles with chopsticks
59.)  Look attractive while eating sushi
60.)  Drink coconut milk from a coconut
61.)  Help someone break free of an addiction
62.)  Make my mom’s ‘famous’ desserts flawlessly
63.)  Build something with my hands
64.)  Get a manicure
65.)  Get a professional massage
66.)  Go to Chick-Fil-A
67.)  See the sun set over Niagara Falls
68.)  Learn to cook well enough that my family won’t starve to death
69.) Take a self defense class
70.)  Make flour less chocolate cake
71.)  Have a perfect, cliché face wash moment
72.)  Kiss a boy on the cheek while wearing lipstick
73.)  Wear a flowy dress and spin around in a field, inspirational music optional
74.)  Get flesh colored nail polish
75.)  Go for longer than 2 months without using heat on my hair
76.)  Straighten my brother’s hair
77.)  Eat solely pineapple for a meal (For the record, it makes your mouth bleed.)
78.)  See a crazy hockey injury occur
79.)  Own a decent phone for once
80.)  Watch an R-rated movie
81.)  Change my last name
82.)  Catch a sasquatch
83.)  Build an igloo
84.)  Ride a camel
85.)  Kiss a horse
86.)  Buy Toms and/or Uggs
87.)  Buy a grad dress
88.)  Date a boy
89.) Make gluten free bread from scratch
90.)  Acquire a cool accent
91.)  Buy a foam finger at a sporting event
92.)  Buy some decent looking sunglasses and normal glasses
93.)  Break a bone
94.)  Bring a date to a wedding
95.)  Fill a pool with Jell-o
96.)  Have a ‘Picture of the Day’ kind of thing in which there is visible change
97.)  Marry the man that God has waiting for me
98.)  Whistle at an attractive person just for the heck of it
99.)  Get a job
100.)                     Flash mob.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Social Fiction Project: "He Loves Me"

Created by: Emily Neufeld *Based on a true story.
On Twitter: @Princess_Ambrie

Image source:                             

“He loves me, he loves me not.” I watched the last two petals of the red rose that my dad bought me fall onto the silk sheets of my unmade bed. A single, warm tear started to work its way down my cheek, only half stopping at the corner of my mouth. I swept the tear off of my chin before dabbing at my ruined makeup with my monogrammed handkerchief. “Hmmm,” I thought, as I gazed at my reflection in the screen of my brand new, gold iPhone, “I don’t know what he doesn’t see in me yet. I really AM gorgeous. Soon. Soon he will agree with me. “With that thought, I clapped my freshly manicured hands twice to shut the lights off, and slipped underneath my silk sheets to dream of my beloved. 
                        *The next day at church*
After hanging up my grey, fur-trimmed Neiman Marcus coat in the downstairs coat closet, I made my way down the aisle between the old, wooden pews, searching for the most amazing human that God had ever or will ever create. I spotted his gorgeous, golden-brown locks above an old, red Dr. Pepper t-shirt just as he turned to look at an empty-headed girl named Trinity. I decided to set him straight. With long, confident strides, I made my way to the pew directly behind the odd pair, one named Trinity, the other one, Tanner. I scooted my way passed the two creepy boys on the end, keeping my eyes locked onto my beloved Tanner, making sure that that witch of a girl didn’t try to make an uncalled-for move on MY man.
    “Hey there!” I flitted my mascara-coated falsies at Tanner, stealing a snarky glance at Trinity, quickly scrutinizing her awful shirt/belt/long cardigan combo.
   “Uh, hey, Ambrielle.” Tanner twisted his torso to face me. The way that my name rolled off of his tongue nearly made me melt, but I couldn’t, not yet at least. I wanted only to melt once I was safely wrapped up in Tanner’s embrace as his bride.
  “Hey, Ambrie! How’s it going?” Trinity’s sickeningly sweet, painfully white smile glared at me, accusing me of nothing less than adultery.
  “Um, hi. I’m fine, thank you, Trinity.” I quickly rolled my eyes at Trinity before shifting my body to face Tanner and block my view of Trinity completely.
After the long-winded church service, I was ready to get out of that stupid place. Unfortunately, Tanner had to leave early so that he could get to a family dinner, leaving me with no incentive to stay at the dumb church. As I was putting my coat on, one of the creepy boys tried talking to me.
  “Hey there, Ambrielle! If you don’t remember my name, that’s fine. My name’s Josh,” he said as he stretched out his hand, obviously wanting me to shake it. As I grasped his hand, I noticed how much cologne he was wearing along with how much sweat was leaking from the pores on his hand. I lightly shook his slippery, dead-fish hand before turning around and running up the short stair case. Without so much as a “goodbye”, I shoved open the front door of the church building and made my way down the snow-covered sidewalk to get to my 2014 Honda Civic.   

   After going out with my dad for lunch, I decided that I would text Tanner to ask him how his family dinner had gone.
          Me: Hey Tanner! How did your fam jam thing go?
         Tanner: Hey Ambrielle. It went really well, thanks! How are you?
  When my phone buzzed with Tanner’s reply, I let out an excited squeal.
         Me: I’m doing good! What’s up?
  After waiting for two and a half hours of waiting for Tanner to text back, I decided to go shopping to get my mind off of our failing relationship.  
   When I got home, I brought all of my lovely new purchases upstairs to my room, emptied them onto my queensized bed, and admired each and every one of them. My purchases included two new pairs of yoga pants, a pink, sparkly case for my new iPhone, a blue infinity scarf to match my eyes, sparkly Ugg boots, and a venti peppermint mocha from Starbucks.
  For the rest of the day my heart yearned to text Tanner. I resisted the urge by taking a bubble bath and watching Dear John. After using an entire box of Kleenex brand tissues, I decided to turn Dear John off and go to sleep.
    *The next day*
  After waking up to no reply, I finally caved and texted Tanner.
       Me: Hey Tanner. I know you’re probably busy and maybe you don’t like me or something, but could you at least answer my text? And please be honest with me about everything! I’ve been so honest with you for the whole time that we’ve known each other!
This text wasn’t exactly one hundred percent truthful. I HAD told him the truth all throughout our friendship, just not about my feelings for him. I didn’t want him to know that I liked him unless he felt the same way. I heard my phone vibrate on my bedside table, the sound filling me with a pinch of hope and a dash of dread. I closed my eyes while I picked up my phone, my bad news bearing baby.
      Tanner: Sorry I didn’t text you back. Listen, I have to tell you something. Trinity and I are dating now, so I don’t think we should text as often as we have been.
    I felt liquid threatening to jump passed my lower eyelid, which would ruin my mascara. I refused to cry for a boy that clearly thought so little of me. I refused to waste one drop of salted water on that filthy scumbag. Instead, I would waste a thousand ink jars writing down my fury, capturing the beauty within this powerful storm beneath my flesh. I swung my legs over the edge of my bed after ripping back my gold and silver down comforter. I pushed myself up off of the bed and raced over to my metallic silver desk. I remembered that I had been given a small, grey journal for Christmas the previous year that I had never written in. I tore through the drawers of my desk until I found it, shoved into the bottom drawer at the back underneath my grade 12 yearbook. I picked up the journal and began writing furiously, only stopping to go to the bathroom throughout the day and one extra time to ask my mom to make me lunch. I decided that once the journal was full, I would give it to Tanner to show him how upset I was with him and how I was much better off without him in my life. I figured that I would write it directly to him, like a letter or a diary of sorts.
   In case you are wondering what kinds of things I wrote in the journal, here’s a little excerpt:
      Tuesday, November 18, 2013
          Dear Tanner,   
      You told me yesterday about yourself and Trinity. Yea, it hurt me a lot, more than you could ever possibly know. Out of anger, I snapped, but only because neither of you had the guts, the courage to tell me to my face. You both knew how I felt about you, I’m sure of it.
   Thank you for eventually coming out and saying it, I respect you more for that. I guess I have to admit I kind of saw it coming, although I wish I didn’t. I knew that you wouldn’t choose me, but I never imagined that it would be HER of all people!!!
   I am going to write this journal for you to show you that I really did care a lot about our relationship as friends and as (what I thought would be) something more.
                                                     -Ambrielle Maeley
       I finally finished the whole journal after I woke up just after noon on Sunday. After nearly a week of writing, hand cramps, and a few too many tears, I knew that I was ready to confront the situation head-on. All afternoon, I resisted the temptation to text Tanner in order to forewarn him of my intent to give him the journal. Before leaving to go to church, I went outside to start my car (and turn on the heated seats!) and then ran back inside to go to the bathroom. I didn’t actually have to ‘go’, but I needed to look in the mirror and give myself a pep talk. I stood in front of the looking glass and pushed my bleached bangs to the side. ”You’ll be okay. Shoulders back, chin up. It’s his loss, Gorgeous.”
      The fifteen minute drive over to the church was all but nerve wracking. I jammed out to an old Hilary Duff cd and pumped myself up as much as I possibly could.
      I sat a few pews back from Tanner, Trinity, and Trinity’s younger brother, watching them carefully, but also keeping an eye out for anyone that might notice me watching Tanner. The songs went by with little interest coming from me. The speaking also went by without me so much as looking up. I mostly just looked at stuff on Pinterest for the whole sermon. After what seemed like an eternity of Bible reading, the person speaking finally closed the meeting in prayer. I didn’t bother bowing my head. Instead, I took the opportunity to collect my belongings and move to the pew directly behind Tanner.
“…In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” As soon as those words left the speaker’s mouth, I tapped Tanner on the shoulder.
“Oh, uh, hey.” Tanner turned around, looking like he was very uncomfortable, presumably because he was sitting next to HER.
“Hey, Tanner. Could we maybe talk?” I didn’t bother looking at Trinity. “Alone?” I added.
Tanner agreed to talk to me alone, but he refused to go into that back room like I suggested. Instead, we went and sat together a few pews up.
“Look, I’m really sorry about this whole thing,” I started to plead with him, even though I had vowed not to. I held out the grey journal that I had retrieved from my Gucci purse.
“Here,” I said. “You can read this if you want. I don’t really expect that you will, but if you do, that’s fine. I have to get going though. See ya.” I waved at Trinity’s little brother as I walked passed, avoiding eye contact with her.  
After waiting for a few days, I figured I would text Tanner. I felt bad for some of the things that I had written to him, so I thought I would apologize.
Me: Hey, Tanner. I know some of the things in that journal weren’t the nicest. I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry and I’m glad that you found someone who will make you happy. I want to ask you to forgive me, I hope that’s not too much?
Tanner: Yea, some of those things weren’t very nice. Some of them hurt a lot, mostly the ones about Trinity. To be honest, I don’t want to forgive you, but I will. You want to know why and how I forgive you?
This text scared me just a little bit, but I was also very curious about what Tanner had to say.
Me: Thank you! And yes, I do want to know.
Tanner: The only way that I’m able to forgive you is because I have been forgiven. Jesus died on the cross all those years ago so that our sins could be forgiven! I know it sounds crazy, but the Bible tells us numerous times to forgive others, because Christ has forgiven us!
At this point, I wasn’t exactly sure what Tanner was saying. I’d heard all of those lame Bible stories throughout the years at camp and stuff, but I had never really cared. At least not until Tanner started telling me about them.
Me: You can’t seriously expect me to believe that, can you? I mean, sure ‘Jesus died and rose again’ blah blah blah. What does that have to do with US? You can choose to forgive me on your own.
Tanner: Ambrielle, I don’t want to have an argument here. I’m simply trying to tell you why I’m forgiving you. To be honest, if I didn’t have Christ in me, I would never want to forgive you. Those things that you said were pretty bad. I forgive you simply because He first forgave me. That’s the end of that.
Surprisingly, after that, I didn’t even want to text him back. However, I went and picked up my old, dusty New Testament. I spent the whole night trying to find some flaw or contradiction in the words that were written. After not being able to find any imperfection, I decided to check out the “Roman Road” as one of the many bookmarks stuffed into the old Book called it.
1. We are all sinners.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Romans 3:23
2. The penalty for sin.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 6:23
Death” in this case means eternal spiritual death; confinement to hell.
3. God loves you and has made a Way to escape the penalty for sin.
“But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Roman 5:8
4. What must we do we do to be saved?
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 10:13
5. Confess and believe on the name of Jesus Christ.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:9-10
6. What’s next?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:1-2

  After reading that bookmark, I slid off of the edge of the desk chair that I had been sitting on and fell to my knees. I realized that I truly needed a Savior, because I will never be anywhere close to good enough. I decided that I needed to give my life to Christ so that I could be forgiven the way that Tanner had told me that he had been forgiven. 
That was the day that things started looking up.