Monday, August 14, 2017

Guest Post by Marjorie--> Summer Mission Trip ~ 2017



  Hello!
  I know-it's been a long time... But, I'm back, and will hopefully be posting more regularly again!
  Today I'm excited to be sharing a guest post by a great friend named Marjorie :) Enjoy!

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                In the fall of 2016 my parents decided our family should do some mission work over the summer. We all thought it was a good idea, so they began to contact missions. We didn’t get a response until late January of this year, when we received a call. We were asked that we help with Vacation Bible School on an Indian reservation out west. I was intrigued with the idea, as was the rest of my family, and we decided to make a go of it.
                June 9, 2017 we arrived at the reservation along with the rest of the VBS team. Adorable kids swarmed the place, reuniting with old teachers and meeting the new. They were quick to make friends with you, and weren’t too shy to come ask millions of questions. There was nothing they loved more than when you pushed them on the swing or played tag with them. Their energy found no limit. 


  The mission is in a very small town way out in a desolate part of prairie. It is seventeen miles off of a paved road one way, and twenty-five miles out on gravel the other way. Over seventeen miles from a gas station or grocery store. It is made up of tiny houses and a minimum occupation of three hundred people or more. The town is awake at all hours of the night and will sleep in until late in the morning. It was always a shock to see children out at extremely late hours. Considering the enthusiastic kids, it was definitely a good place to have Bible School.
  A key factor in running Bible School is passing out invitations. We split into groups and walked from door to door handing them out. While passing out invitations I developed an outline of what to say when people opened their door. It’s good to plan what you want to say beforehand, just to save yourself from an awkward conversation. I would begin by introducing myself and explain which church I was coming from. Then I would move on to the purpose of my visit. I also used this technique when we picked up the children to take them to Bible School. Sometimes the people were enthusiastic about sending their kids, other times they would barely open the door wide enough for you to hand them their invitation. Sometimes you would pray with them, or you would have a very long and meaningless conversation with a drunk. I found I really enjoyed relating to the people we met, and especially the children.

  The Bible School was divided into stations, so if you were a group leader you would walk your age group from station to station. The “stations” would include craft, snack, games, bible story, object lesson, and maybe a few others. It was a good system, especially because it would keep the kids hopping.
  At one of our locations I helped two teachers group lead the five year olds. A good part of my week was spent holding four little hands at once trying to keep control; playing duck-duck goose in the sweltering sun; and holding several hot, sweaty kids in my lap. There were times when you would end the day in exhaustion. I mean kids will be kids, and there’s not much you can do when 5 of your 17 five year olds all take off at once.
  At our evening location, I was given a different perspective when I attended the older girls’ class. It was amazing to become friends with the girls and to discover each of their different personalities. As a whole they could be loads of fun, and it was very difficult to leave them.
  We closed off the week with a program, and invited the children’s family to attend. Each group got up and performed something—either a song or a short verse. Afterwards we served a picnic supper and then said our goodbyes to the kids.
  Early the next morning we left, and traveled the long hours home.
 As a whole my experience there was a very good one. I’m already dying to go back again next year. I feel as if the whole experience changed me for the better and helped me grow in my own spiritual life—and it definitely broadened my comfort zone. I thank God for sending me out west to that reservation—I was really blessed by it.

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Feel free to leave Marjorie a comment below!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Photo Contest Winner


   


Congratulations B.M.!  


Please email me your address, so that I can send you your prize!

Below I included the other four entries, along with the names of the girls who took them. 





Brianna 


Gray from Writing is Life





Thank you all for entering!



Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm Back! Photo Contest Voting and a Week of Blogging






  Hello, I'm back!
I haven't posted since June 23rd! But, I have a bunch of posts coming. I'm going to be trying to post everyday for a week, including one guest post by a friend. :)

  The photo contest
 I have not forgotten! Five people entered, and I'll be posting all 5 pictures on here. I'd like to keep them anonymous before voting, so please don't comment which one is yours.

  The voting is open to all, whether you entered the contest or not. If you did enter though, please don't vote for yourself (;

  The voting will be open until Friday night, and the winner will be announced on Saturday.

The Pictures

#1






#2







 #3







 #4








  #5




- Edited -
The poll is closed, please comment your vote below. I will be adding the votes in the comments to the votes in the poll. Please don't comment both ways. 
 Thank-you! :)


  Happy voting! And comment below if you have any questions!



Friday, June 23, 2017

It's My Blogiversary!



  Hello!
 I had planned to post this the day before yesterday, but better late than never! 
  
Well, where should I start? Before this blog I had another one, also called FlowersInMyBasket, After stopping blogging for a few months, I made this one, but didn't actually start using right away. June 24th 2016 is when I started to use this blog. If you'd like, check out my old blog HERE! But be sure to come back when you're done!
  Blogging has been (and is!) such a fun experience! And God has been helping me so much throughout this year! I'm super excited to see what happens with FlowersInMyBasket this coming year. :)

  • This blog has 177 comments (including mine) 
  • Most of my audience is in the USA, but after that is France.
  • My first comment was by my Mom, on July 7th, 2016.

  I made a survey using Survey Monkey, and I'd love for you to fill it out below!

  
    I'm going to be trying a photo contest!  I've never had one before, and I hope it goes well!

To enter:
  Send me an email at flowersinmybasket@hotmail.com with a black&white picture (one you took). Please don't send one with a person in it; it can be a flower, a pet, a fancy dish set, but please no more than 1 entry per person.
  You could also enter by posting your picture on Goolge+ or Instagram with the hashtag #flowersinmybasketphotocontest .

    Depending on how many people enter, I may be posting some or all of the entries on here, and having a vote for the best picture. The winner will win a prize!(Scroll down!)





  




   In case you couldn't tell, it's a camera lens mug! It looks like a camera lens, but really is a cup with a lid!

Note-  Entries may be received until July 10th. This contest is only open to people that live in the continental USA.

  I'd love it if you'd enter, and please tell your friends! I hope you all have a great day, and to finish off, feel free to answer these questions in the comments below. :)

Do you have a blog?
When's your blogiversary?
Will you enter the photo contest?


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Introducing...(Drumroll) my new blog Guestbook!

 
  I could tell you all about it here, but why do that when you can see it for yourself  HERE! (Go check it out!!)


  PS. June 24th (in 13 days!) is my blogiversary. Stay tuned!
 


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Driving Cautiously Guest Post by B.M.



  Hello! Today I'm doing a post swap with B.M. from Sparkle For Jesus. Read her post below, and be sure to check out her blog when you're done!

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 Hello! My (blogging) name is B.M. and I blog over at Sparkle For Jesus! I "met" Laura through Lilly Shyree and we have been doing a post swap. You can read Laura's article at my blog now. Thank you to Laura and all your readers for letting me share a few words of encouragement today! 

**Let me begin by saying that this article is not really about driving ;) 

So, I'm not driving yet, (I have to wait only one year!) but one of my brothers recently began driving these past few months. It is a very exciting time as we all watch him carefully and cautiously drive along the roads with us hanging on to our seats. :) Since I'm right below him, I tend to glean from everything he does like school, purchases, activities, etc... so I have learned a little bit more about driving recently! 

I really love analogies, and one day as he was practice driving with me and our dad, I thought up something that is a great illustration! 

When you are driving, you pay attention to the speed limit, stay on your side of the road, and are courteous to those you are sharing the road with. Why do we do this? To follow the law and obey the government. When we drive, we look out for the police and state troopers because they have the right to punish us for being disobedient to the law. 

Isn't it the same way in our Christian lives? Once you become a Christian, you want to follow the law because it glorifies our Savior! If we do not, God has the right to punish us for our wrongdoings. 

Now imagine this-- you are driving in a long line of cars and you happen to notice a hidden officer watching each of you. You drive cautiously, making sure you are doing what you're supposed to. None of the other cars notice the officer, and they continue driving recklessly and however they want to. 

Soon, there is a car accident and all the cars begin to pileup. But you, since you are carefully following the law, brake and are saved from a terrible death!

In our lives, we know that God is always watching us, lovingly protecting us by making sure we follow the law. We will be saved from a terrible eternal death because we drove cautiously! 

Living our lives to glorify God is the best thing we could ever possibly do. It begins with surrendering your life to Christ and repenting of your sins. After we have become Christians, we can be radiant testimonies and bright lights for the glory of God! 


Thanks for letting me share a few words today! Please come visit my blog and check out Laura's post! 

His Handmaiden,
B.M. 

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Feel free to leave her a comment below!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

My Story for the Penprint's Flash Fiction Dash

  Hello! In the Writing Tag post I had mentioned that I'd be participating in The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash by Rosalie Valentine. 
  I had a hard time cutting out parts to make the story short enough (and it's still a little longer than its supposed to be) but it was a lot of fun! 

  First she sent me a prompt, which was the picture above. (I added the words for this post.) Then I had this write a short story inspired by the picture. I wrote about a six year-old Dutch girl during the flood in 1953. Here's my story, hope you enjoy!

Anika Rojkkers’ Experience of 1953

Saturday, January 31st, 1953; Schouwen-Duiveland, Holland:

  "Bye!" six year-old Anika Rojkkers said to her two friends when it was time to go home. Her and her Mama had gone to the market to pick up a few things, but a storm was coming, and Mama said they must go home.
 "Papa, Papa, look what we bought!" she shouted when they reached their small house in town. "Little cakes!"
  "But you shall not eat them," Papa joked with a serious look, "for I shall eat them all!" He stole the bag and made loud eating noises as she tried to take it back, laughing.
  "Aha!" Mama laughed, taking the bag. "Too late!" She reached into the bag, and took out a small cake, which she passed to Anika.
  The family merrily ate the cakes, and after a little while retired to bed, completely unaware of what would happen that night...

Saturday, January 31st, 1953, Late Night:

  "Wake up Anika, quick! " Mama rushed as she shook her little daughter. Anika quickly sat up. She saw Papa breaking a hole through the ceiling. She heard a loud noise, like thunder. "Quick!" Mama said in a hurry. "We must head to the roof!" Papa lifted Anika up through the hole, and then he and Mama climbed through after her.
  "There has been a flood," Papa told her. They looked around. Their neighbors were on their roofs too. The water was up to the second story windows. The trees looked like bushes, for you could only see their tops.
  Suddenly, the noise grew very loud, and a cold mist began to cover them. All of a sudden she could see a huge wave and-
  She screamed as the wave splashed over the roof and began to carry her away. Mama yelled and Papa jumped in, but they were quickly separated. The water was rushing so fast, she could hardly hear anything. Suddenly she was heading towards some brick thing on top of a building, and crashing into it, fell into deep unconsciousness.

 Sunday, February 1st, 1953

  Anika opened her eyes, blinking a few times and looking around. It was light now. She was freezing, and on the roof of some building, leaning against a chimney. She saw an older lady a few feet away.
  “Oh, you’re awake!” The lady said, wobbling over to her. “I’ve been wondering if you’d be okay, you hit your head pretty bad last night.” Anika reached up and felt her forehead. She could feel a large, open wound. “I tried to wash it with some of the water,” the lady told her. “Well, you can call me Beth,” she added. “What’s your name? You must be terribly frightened. All alone up here, with a strange old lady like me, and water up to the rooftops.”
  “Anika,” the girl quietly replied, until suddenly they felt the wind pick up, and the water began to move.
  “Grab onto me!” Beth told her, holding her tightly. They weren’t sure what to expect. The water began to flow over the roof, knocking them down to their knees. Suddenly, they felt the ground they were on begin to shake, and the roof started to float away. Beth held tightly to Anika, and they tried hard to stay on the floating roof.
  After few moments of floating, the water suddenly began to flow the other direction, back towards the village. Reaching a bunch of treetops towards the edge of the village, the roof came to a rough stop, crushing one of Beth’s legs as it did. She let out a sharp cry; her leg was wedged between the roof and tree trunk.
   Anika sat, not knowing what to do.  After a while Beth, not being able to get up, fell asleep. Anika looked around at the enormous expanse of water. She saw roofs, sticks, and a few dead animals  floating by. She began to cry. What was she to do? She was all alone, except for an old lady, who couldn’t move. She didn’t know how to swim. She felt helpless.  
  Then, suddenly she remembered something. She was not alone. God was there! She began to pray, “Dear God, please help me. Please keep me safe, and Beth too. Please help me to find Mama and Papa. Amen.”
  Immediately  after praying she saw a boat come by. “Help!” she called out. The couple on the boat, after seeing her, began to steer in her direction. Once they came closer, they saw Beth too. They climbed up onto the roof and the man was able to pull her out. They helped her and Anika into the boat, and then the lady said in a gentle voice, “I am Elisabeth Hopts,” “And this is my husband Jack. We are taking you a hospital out of town.”

  The four rode on for a while, picking up a few other passengers on their way. After a while, the water began to move again, this time faster. It splashed on board, and suddenly Anika was thrown overboard again by a wave. The current quickly drove her away, farther and farther. After a few minutes, she was thrown against some hard wall. She grabbed on, and was able to climb to the top. There she stayed the whole night, cold, tired and scared.

Monday, February 2nd

  Anika looked around. It had been a hard night. “Will I ever see my parents again?” she wondered. The water began to move once more. She tried to hold onto the wall, but it was no use. She was pulled away, and, grabbing a large floating stick, drifted again.
  Suddenly she thought she heard her name. “Anika!” Yes! She did hear it. She looked around as fast as she could. “Mama! Papa!” she screamed. “Anika!” There they were- Mama and Papa- up on top of the dike she was passing. They both jumped off andbegan to swim towards her, and eventually cut off the path where the stick was heading. They all made their way back to where they had been sitting, and hugged her, crying. “Anika!” Mama said, “We thought we would never see you again!” That night was again cold, wet, and hungry, but at least they were all together.

Tuesday, February 3rd

  The next morning help came. A boat came, filled with food, clean water, bandages and more. They quickly were helped inside, and taken a few towns over, to a large building being used as a hospital. The nurses helped to clean their wounds, and they spent the night there.

  Thursday, February 5th

  “How good it felt to be on dry land once again!” Anika thought to herself, smiling. She and her parents were now at her Aunt Maria’s house, which the flood had not hit. They found out that it had been caused by the dikes bursting during the storm on Saturday night. Since the radio didn’t broadcast during at nights, their aunt found out on Sunday morning. “I was so scared for you!” she said. “I was praying that God would keep you all safe, and He did!”
  “Yes He did!” Mama and Papa agreed. Aunt Maria went into the kitchen for a moment, and came out a few seconds later holding a cake. “To celebrate” she said. “That God has kept you all safe, and brought you back together!”
  The family enjoyed the cake, and sat around the table for a few hours, laughing, smiling, and happy to be back together again. For many years following the flood, each year on February 5th they would bake a cake just like that one and celebrate that they were all together.

NOTE: This is a fictional story based on the flood in 1953, where 1,836 deaths in the Netherlands were recorded.

  Do you like to write short stories?  What have you been up to this week?