Tuesday, 8 December 2015

a farewell and a greeting

Almost four and a half years ago on August 31, 2011, after much encouragement from two friends of mine, I became a blogger. I didn't really have any idea what I was doing, but I described my spot on the blogosphere as, "Klarabelle Candy - miscellaneous thoughts, articles, and stories from the heart of a teenage girl." When I wrote out the definition of the word "epic" as my first blog post, I had no idea that blogging would become a significant part of my life, that my blog could look way cooler than a free template, or that I would have more than ten followers. I would never have imagined that my "miscellaneous journalings" and "not-so-collected thoughts" would be read by so many young ladies, or that I would fall in love with the blogging community. In June 2012, "Klarabelle Candy" received a makeover and in July 2012, my friends help me host my first "26 Follower Giveaway".

In the summer of 2014 quite a few changes occurred in my life and I took a bit of a break from blogging. Early in 2015, however, I realized that I didn't want to give up my online writing. I came back with a clearer direction of where I wanted the blog to go (Lordwilling). I decided to be purposeful and genuine in my writing - less posts ranting about mustaches and no more fa├žades of "having it all together". Instead of being my outlet for complaints, ideas, and opinions, I wanted my blog to be a place where I could bluntly share my personal thoughts and struggles. 

In accordance with this change, I have decided that it is time to start over with a new blog. 

So in a sense, this is goodbye. I will leave "Klarabelle Candy" on the web for a while, but this will be my final post. This blog and its followers have been with me through the ups and downs of the past for four years, and I am sad that it has come to an end.

But in a sense, this is hello. I'd like to invite you to check out my new blog, "Broken Strings & Slumbering Chords", a twenty-something's reflections on life, following God, living with depression, and falling in love. 
Thank you so much to the two young ladies who helped me begin my blogging journey. Thank you to Emma for replacing my clique template with a unique look you made just for me and to Morning for redesigning this blog more recently. Thank you to those who have placed my button on their sidebars and reposted my writings. And lastly, thank you to all who have been faithful to read my posts and support me through your comments and kinds words... you are the reason I have continued on. I hope you'll come visit me at my new blog and stay for a while! 

2011

Hi! I'm Kara (though I respond to "Klara" and "Klarabelle" and various other names). Thanks for stopping by my blog... I love "meeting" blog people, reading comments, and hearing your thoughts! A little bit about me... well, some of my interests include writing: (mostly novels, but other types of writing too), reading, drawing, shopping, crafts, fairies, hearts, Narnia, blogging (you couldn't guess, could you!?), and the French Revolution, not to mention musicals, singing, Lord of the Rings, purple or turquoise things, castles, rodents, and 1800's stuff. Most importantly though, I am a Christian who loves her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I am nothing! 

2015

Hey, I’m “Klarabelle”! I have enjoyed creative writing for as long as I can remember and found myself falling down the figurative rabbit hole of blogging in 2011 (I’ve only looked back once). When I'm not working or fiddling with my cellular communication device, I enjoy writing old-fashioned letters to my incredible boyfriend, attempting to have deep conversations, doodling on lined paper (because drawing paper is too far away), and overanalyzing the sporadic movements of my betta fish, Natsu. Most importantly, though, I’m a Christian who loves her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – without Him, I am nothing! He has saved me from my sin, called me out of darkness, and brought me "into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9, NKJV). I desire to serve Him in everything I do and to love Him more and more each day.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

friends first

Several weeks ago, one of my close friends invited me to an end of summer party. There were to be games, s'mores, a campfire, and lots of fun! So after work, J and I headed off to the party, cookies in tow. Once we arrived, I enjoyed catching up with some of my high school peers and officially introducing my boyfriend. After a few hours of hanging out, I was reminiscing freshman year with one of my friends when she asked us a question. "Do you have any advice for two people who are interested in dating?" 

The question surprised me, so naturally I laughed and said, "If he offers you gum, take it. And if you get the opportunity to shove whipped cream in his face, do it." (That's how J and I met...don't ask). But J's answer surprised me. He said, "Be friends first."

He is right. So many potentially beautiful friendships are ruined by infatuation, emotion, and a desire to be close to someone. The teenage and young adult years are filled with many changes - emotional changes, life changes, and growth in character. It's the sometimes difficult transformation from a child to adult. Often, what a young person needs in the midst of all this is not a relationship. What they really need is a good friend - not just someone take them to the movies or the mall, but someone who will be there even when it's not easy. Someone who will listen to them and help them. A person whom they trust and who trusts them in return. A like-minded Christian who will hold them accountable and encourage them to grow in their relationship with the Lord.
 
Ladies, if you surround yourself with godly companions, perhaps one of the young men who have walked with you through the difficult years of change will become your "someone special" - but even if he does not, you will still have a trustworthy close friend. You don't need to date a bunch of young men to find out what kind of guy you like; you don't need to be in multiple relationships to find out how to be a good girlfriend. If you are following the Lord, He will direct you towards someone who also loves Him. If you are a good friend, then you'll already know how to be a good girlfriend.

J and I had been friends for four years when we began our courtship. In our first year together, I learned that we still had a lot of growing up to do. But I honestly think we would not be as strong as we are if we had not been simply friends first. Of course there was an attraction, there had been for a long time. But because we became close friends first and didn't hurry into a relationship, we were able to stand by each other, encourage each other, and learn to trust each other. Yes, maybe there is something to be said for assuring nosy friends and relatives that you and the person you like are "just friends", because perhaps that is how it should begin. 

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

reflections upon, "into the woods"

Last December, J was home for Christmas break. It was Tuesday, so we decided to go to $5 movie night after my shift at work. We chose to see Into the Woods, a musical mashup of popular fairytales that retains canonical references (like eye-pecking birds and drastic foot-altering) to the Brothers Grimm. We'd seen the show as a high school play once before, and I knew that it contained some questionable content and lyrics, but I'd seen photo stills online and simply fallen in love with the gorgeous costuming. We surprised ourselves by enjoying the movie - we laughed out loud at Agony - and loving the music. 

Later, I wasn't surprised to see many Christian bloggers bashing the movie for its worldly themes - I had found myself cringing at the finale song, No One Is Alone, which takes place when Little Red Riding Hood questions the morals of killing a giant, since her now-deceased mother taught her murder was wrong (and in response, Cinderella offers some very interesting advice). Even so, it was no surprise that the song promoted self-decided morality - without God as a moral compass, we can only look to our conscience for right and wrong. But the questionable ending song also caught my attention for another reason. To comfort Red, Cinderella, sings "Mother cannot guide you / now you're on your own" and the lyrics later include the lines:
Mother isn't here now
Who knows what she'd say?
Nothing's quite so clear now...
Feel you've lost your way
You decide, but you are not alone
Believe me, no one is alone
"Mother cannot guide you, now you're on your own," and, "Mother isn't here now, who knows what she'd say?" Someday, if it is God's will for me to have a family, I want my children to know what I would say to them after my passing. When faced with a decision, I don't want them to be like Little Red, feeling lost and confused. I don't want them to have to guess my hypothetical thoughts and opinions. When faced with a moral dilemma, I want them to know exactly what I would tell them. Not because I've left them a book entitled, "What to Do When a Giant Attacks Your Home" or an instruction manual titled, "What to Do In Every Situation (As Told By Your Mother)". It's because I've taught them to turn to the only book that can truly give us guidance. It's because I've encouraged them to have a relationship with One who is fully good and loving and because I've turned them towards the One who will make their decisions clear to them. The only One who will truly never leave them alone. The One who will help them find their way (His way). The One who has left us the best instruction manual ever - His Word and His Holy Spirit to help us understand. 

To my someday children - I pray that when faced with tough decisions, you will turn to God and His Word. That you will be able to enjoy a work of art, but realize its moral fallacies. That you will never truly feel alone, because although I may leave you, though your friends may you, though your loved ones may leave you, there is One who will never leave you alone. Though there may come a day when you will say, "Mother isn't here now", that you will know exactly what I would say.  

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