What God has taught me over Winter Break and the School Year

To be honest, I had such great dreams for this Christmas break. I had everything planned out haha… I was gonna chill out with every single friend I possibly could, every event I could, I was planning on whoopin’ it up l ol. Especially since this was my last winter break before I went to college. However, God had different ideas and this break wasn’t meant to be that way apparently. If you, the reader, could see everything that happened to me over winter break, you would be saying it was a (mostly) dismal failure and that if I wanted to go hide in a corner that I would be justified. I had most everything go wrong this Christmas but I’m not gonna hide in a corner (even though it does sound nice). There were some silver linings on the metaphorical rain cloud that halted right over me during break. One of the biggest things that happened was that God taught me some lessons and I honestly would’ve never learned them without what God handed out to me. As I drift out of my school break back into the dizzying school cycle, I think I should share what God has taught/reminded me of over the school year and winter break.

            First thing God reminded me was the situation he’s put me in is where he wants me not because he wants me to go through trials, but because he knows that if I follow his instructions I will do great things where he’s placed me. God wants you to succeed in his kingdom and his kingdom isn’t all butterflies and happiness. I KNOW that life sometimes just sucks, if anybody tells you stuff is happening because you don’t have enough faith or any of that; don’t listen to them. Life sucks sometimes because God’s kingdom does not directly correlate with earth. We live in a fallen world where it is more in tune with Satan than it is with God. Our savior knows that we will have problems, but he’s set it up that if we trust Him we can go anywhere. He is the ONLY thing we need in this life. If I had somebody strip away my soul piece by piece all the way down to the core, they could rip out everything except God. If I had to sit on the top of a waterfall, watch somebody rip out parts of my soul and toss them down I would still have God (I don’t know where that metaphor came from haha). And you know what? That would be right where God wants me to be- Depending only on him and not other people or the things of this world. Right now, he has decided to place me in a broken society where teenager’s behavior is going more and more over the top. I’m disgusted with what is done by some of the people of my generation. My job where I am is to shine his light the most I can and make sure it is UNDENIABLE that I am different because God’s values are so unlike most teenager’s values (if they have any at all that is). He is the most vital thing in my life and Jesus is the thing that can rock anyone’s world like no other. So is my position the best? No. But did my father in heaven put me here for a reason? You bet he did and I know that he will bless me beyond compare if I simply follow his instructions and love him with all my heart, soul and mind!

            The second thing God taught me is to wait for his timing because it will happen exactly when he wants to. There are multiple instances of this over winter break, but I’ve just had a one thing in particular which I rushed WAY faster than it should’ve been. There is stuff that I want SO badly but I’ve figured out that it’s just not time yet. I know that if it is his will it’s gonna happen someday and when it does I’m going to be so happy I waited. Some of these things in life are so precious and just because they aren’t maximized now doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them on a lower-scale. It felt so unfair because I could see the maximum of what I wanted; it was right in front of me. I had a taste of something so wonderful but it got ripped away for right now. That’s okay though. However, it’s something me and my folks don’t agree about. However, I have to honor my folks and follow their guidelines even if I think they don’t understand the situation at all. In fact, they are comparing two things that on the outside are similar but on the inside are two completely different set-ups. The problem is they don’t know what is inside one and assume it is the same as the other, which is absolutely untrue, and sometimes I just feel like they’ll never understand. My dad keeps telling me it’s never going to work out, that it’ll never last and I should go look for it somewhere else. I respect his opinion but I refuse to believe that because I deem the hardest things to get in life are the best by far.  But the fact remains the same; it is something that I should be waiting for. But that’s the best part of all- I can still partake of it now in smaller chunks and I know the final result will so wonderful and beautiful that it’ll knock my socks off lol. It’s not going to be easy, I could just back out if I wanted to and pursue a different path, but I’ve promised myself I’m not going to back out just because anything that is worth something is gonna take a long time. It’s gonna take a lot of patience but I KNOW once I get to the end of the road it’ll all be worth it! Some of the top things in life are the ones that force you to be patient and wait. The best things in life are the ones God prepares you for over a lot of time and I know that this thing is going to be more amazing than I could ever dream of once it’s all said and done 🙂

            Something that God taught me over the school year so far is that no matter where you’ve been or who you have been God still loves you and will use you. I’ve been such a bad person in my life; he has really resurrected my life and changed it so much. If it wasn’t for Him I would be lost in life and would probably be in a really bad situation. Plus I wouldn’t be fulfilling my purpose. What’s our purpose? It is to glorify Him every second of my life. I know I now have some newer people following the blog (thanks by the way, it makes me feel wonderful that God is paving a way for me to speak to more and more people on a constant basis) so I want to go back to something that I’ve talked about before. The top message God wants me to spread is simple: Live life to the full and glorify God with every second of your life. This is the very first thing I say when I wake up in the morning- “God, thank you for giving me another day to live that I don’t deserve. Help me to be able to live every second to the full and make the most of the opportunities you give me today.” Guys, God is the author of salvation. Jesus is the one who gave everything he had for us and died on a cross to give us the opportunity to pursue him. Why in the world wouldn’t I give everything I had and follow him to the death? The answer is simple. That’s what God deserves. He deserves the best we have to bring; he deserves 100% percent effort even when we feel like we’re going down the tubes. It doesn’t matter where your life is or where it’s going. YOU are important to God, he cherishes you so much. He sacrificed his son for you. I was singing in church yesterday and there was a song that contained one of my favorite lines. It is really simple if you thought I was going to pull out something really long haha. “Lord, we stand amazed in your presence.” We ought to, for he has given us life. My life will never be the same. No longer do I stake my life in friends, sports, school or other things, but they all compliment the true reason that we live. We live to glorify a God who wants a personal relationship with every single person on this earth and no matter whom you’ve been in the past He will change your life. Just strap yourself in for the ride because with Him it’s the most awesome adventure you’ll ever have 🙂

            Just a quick note for reading the Bible- if you want to read in the Psalms there are four I would suggest right off the bat. Psalms 23, 119, 130, and 139. Just something God popped into my head right when I was about to publish this. 

P.S. I owe you one xD

Cup of HIS hand

Just a quick post for everyone out there to remember God always has you in the cup of his hand. There is nothing that can separate us from God and however your life is going he is always there. My life would not be the same if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be the person I am. God gives us experiences, helps us meet people and puts everything in our life because he has a wonderous plan that we can’t see. Anyone with a broken soul: God will  help you. He is a comforting presence that NEVER stops every single moment of your life. Don’t stop him from taking over your life because when you surrender to him that is when the most beautiful things in life happen. I only wish I had figured this out before my sophmore year of high school. I don’t want other people to make the same mistake, because you can clean up your life with HIS help. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life I don’t even want to count, and I’ve been a bad person in the past. If it wasn’t for God I have no idea where I’d be. Actually, I know where I’d possibly be. If I died I had a one-way ticket to hell, but thankfully I’ve been able to exchange that for a ticket to heaven. Now, my life is just so incredible and so beautiful. This senior year I’ve learned I live just to echo God’s glory and will do it as long as I live and I’ll do it as LOUDLY as I can. I’m just sitting in the cup of HIS hand, the only thing worth living for.

P.S. I owe you one.

Taming the Tongue

“but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of poison.” James 3:8

So I’m going to talk about taming the tongue because I need to write about it. It’s something that I often fail at. I’m not making excuses, but it does run through the family line. Me, my dad, my grandpa, my great-grandfather and on down the line… we all tend to blurt out what is on our minds at the time without stopping to think. Now, I need to overcome it but it is a big flaw of my own and it gets me into a lot of trouble. That usually doesn’t turn out very well and I’ve spent a lot of my life apologizing to my friends because I’ve said some really bad stuff about them that isn’t what I really feel about them. Just yesterday, I had a friend email me about some stuff that I said about them and when I looked at what I had typed earlier I felt like shooting myself. That person has been so kind, so open, so nice… and I was extremely rude, no buts about it. I just was so frustrated with other stuff so I was a nitpicker and vented on this person for no good reason. Thankfully, they’re (still) nice lol, and forgave me. However, it made me realize I need to get some control of what I say and I KNOW I’m not the only one out there who struggles with this. God can help you with it if you let him.

               I think the first step you need to take to tame the tongue is just to hold your tongue for a little while, really think about something, and then respond to it. Like I said, I often tend to “let ur rip” and don’t take time to think out what I’m going to say. I think the best times of my life are the ones where I’ve consistently taken some time before I speak. You just think straighter if you take a brief timeout before you plunge into the moment. Especially when you’re frustrated. Another time I lost it recently was in my state cup semifinal for soccer… I grabbed a guy’s jersey because that’s what had been going on the whole game. However, I didn’t do it very sneakily like everyone else lol, it was as obvious as daylight. The referee called a foul and while I didn’t swear or curse or anything like that I just started ripping the guy. I still don’t know how I didn’t get a yellow card (probably cause he didn’t give out any). I just let him have it and I said everything on my mind which was very sharp criticism. That could’ve turned out a lot worse and I’m lucky it worked out. I know it is so hard not to respond right back to somebody, but it works out way better if you hold on. A good example of this was my friend I talked about earlier. He could’ve absolutely set off on me because I deserved it, but he really cares about me and gave me a second chance to mend the crappy situation I set up. Thanks buddy 🙂 So just try to hold the tongue and just take time to formulate what you’re going to say.

               Another part of controlling that devastating weapon known as the tongue is to just not use it when someone else is speaking. You need to listen to people and not interrupt them. I tend to do this less but I still do it; that makes me guilty of it. If you speak out of turn, you don’t even know what the person is going to say. That defeats the whole purpose of having the conversation and that only makes you look stupid. And I dunno about you, but I’m not interested in looking stupid. Probably should tell Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo that when he throws all his interceptions cause his behavior isn’t changing 😉 sliding back to the topic though, listen to everything the person has to say. That way they have nothing else to say and then it is the proper time for you to respond. I just love that the God we serve is the prime example of that. He listens to EVERYTHING we ever tell him and then he talks about whatever he wants to. If we could all carry the conversation like Him then there wouldn’t be this tongue problem haha. However, we all have a sinful nature; that really means that we need to get our thinking cap on and turn the switch to our tongue off.

               Final thing about the tongue is boasting. I’m proud to boast that I don’t boast except when I’m joking (try to follow that 😉 for real though, I keep boasting at a minimum. The only times I boast are when I’m joking around and I’m not serious. I know that is very easy to talk about what a great job you’ve done in something and I’m not saying that’s wrong. There is a big difference between stating and boasting… I won’t delve into that but here’s an example. Stating- “Mom, I got a 96 on my test, I’m so happy I did a good job!” Boasting- “Mom, I got a 96 on my test. I did better that everybody in the class. I just knew I was that good.” I use this following thought to keep my boasting low. For anything you’ve achieved, is there not a ton of other people who have achieved as much or even greater than you have? If I have a great soccer game, I just think about my competition because many other players are doing the same thing I do against better teams. If it’s in school I think about the super-nerdy people who gets all A’s whilst attaining their PhD in biochemical engineering. If I think I’ve been acting super well lately, I just think of Jesus. The guy came to the sinful earth on his own accord and suffered what we go through. He defeated all sin and saved us on the cross. I think that beats me by A LOT! So don’t boast… it just leads to headaches and problems. Plus it also makes you look like Tony Romo after he throws an interception and we can’t have that going on now can we lol.

               What I’m trying to hit at here is just make a conscious decision to control your tongue. It isn’t an overnight thing, it will take awhile. You’re still going to make some mistakes and use your tongue in a bad manner or use it when you shouldn’t. However, if you put in the effort and work hard you will be rewarded. So for all my friends- if you guys see me not bridling my tongue tell me. I won’t be offended; in fact, I will be very grateful lol. This really is important and I hope that anybody who needs help with it seeks help from God. He’s the best help that you can have for something of this nature. Controlling your tongue is taking another step in pursuing God and I know that he will be happy when you do it.

P.S. I owe you one 🙂          

Seahawks Playoff dreams and current status of the Seattle Sounders FC

So this post is going to consist of a preview of the Seattle Seahawk’s playoff game and a current look at the Seattle Sounders. Also, I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to everyone who reads the blog- I know it is poorly organized and the page set-up isn’t the best, but thanks for reading it anyways. I know how busy people are and it makes me feel good when people take the time to read my stuff. Plus then I know that my time that I took to write the blog isn’t wasted!

               So your 11-5 Seattle Seahawks are taking their first step toward a return to the Super Bowl with a playoff game against the 8-8 Washington Redskins in WashingtonD.C. So for non-football fans wondering why the Seahawks must go to the other stadium, the Seahawks didn’t win their division. The San Francisco 49ers (12-4) won that honor and have home field advantage. The Washington Redskins, on the other hand, won their not-so-good division with a lower record and get to host the game. So I’m gonna break down each position head-to-head and eventually I’ll give you who I think is going to win.

Quarterback: Seahawks Russell Wilson vs. Redskins Robert Griffin III (RG3). Both are rookie quarterbacks who have had outstanding years, Wilson tying the record for most touchdown passes by a rookie and RG3 being voted into the Pro Bowl (All-Star). Wilson is a steady quarterback who makes all his throws and is very smart. He rarely turns the ball over and when it comes down to crunch time he has shown the ability to lead his team to victory. Robert Griffin III makes a lot of throws, but can also run the ball very well. However, RG3 has had a brace on his leg so his running capability is very hampered. Because of that, I think Russell Wilson is going to outshine Robert Griffin III. Advantage: Seahawks.

Running Back: Seahawks Marshawn Lynch (Beast Mode) vs. Redskins Alfred Morris. Everybody knows Beast Mode, who ran for the second most yards in the NFL this year with just over 1,500. The guy just busts tackles and fights for every single inch. Alfred Morris is a 6th round rookie who came out of nowhere and ran over 1,000 yards this year. I think Morris may give the Seahawks D some problems but Lynch is going to give the Redskins defense some headaches (literally). Advantage: Seahawks

Wide Receivers: Seahawks vs. Redskins. The Seahawks have a very solid core of wide receivers that are very good, just not flashy. Golden Tate is an outstanding deep threat, Sidney Rice has incredible hands and Doug Baldwin has returned to be a very good #3 receiver. Don’t forget about tight end Zach Miller either. All of these guys can make stuff happen when Russell Wilson puts the ball in their hands. The Redskins wide receivers are good at catching the ball but don’t have that “make things happen” kind of skill. They just catch the ball and then are usually tackled fairly immediately. Advantage: Seahawks

Offensive line: Seahawks vs. Redskins. The Seahawks have an okay offensive line but the Redskins offensive line has done a very good job protecting Robert Griffin III and giving Alfred Morris holes to run into. Advantage: Redskins

Defensive line: Seahawks vs. Redskins. The Seahawks have been defending very well against the run for the last few weeks leading into the playoffs while the Redskins have been doing it all season. So this one is a tie, it just depends on who actually does the best in the game. Advantage: Nobody

Linebackers: Seahawks vs. Redskins. The Redskins have pretty good linebackers who can tackle the running back and can blitz the quarterback. They are a good unit. However, the Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner (most tackles for a Seahawks rookie), K.J Wright and Leroy Hill have done an absolutely stupendous job this year. They’ve stopped running backs from big gains and have covered the short routes by wide receivers. They’ve done an outstanding job this year when called upon to blitz the quarterback. Advantage: Seahawks

Secondary: This is the biggest gap of talent. The Washington Redskins have a horrible secondary that allows a lot of big plays and it is their Achilles heel. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have the best secondary in the NFL. Earl Thomas was just selected to his second Pro Bowl and Cam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner were all selected to the Pro Bowl last year. In my opinion, Richard Sherman should’ve gotten the call again. Advantage: Seahawks

Special Teams: Seahawks vs. Redskins. The Seahawks special team players tackle HARD. They are jacked up and ready to go. They’ve made some really big plays this season. The Redskins have the average special teams; therefore, the Seahawks got em’ there. Advantage: Seahawks

Punters: Jon Ryan vs. Redskins punter. Jon Ryan is one the best and the Redskins punter is not lol. Advantage: Seahawks

Kickers: Steve Haushca vs. Redskins kicker. Both of these guys kick from about the same range and have about the same amount of success. Just depends which one of them steps up to the plate on gameday. Advantage: Me, I bet I could kick field goals with that strong leg of mine 😉

Overall: Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are going to torch the Redskins secondary and get some long plays. Then Marshawn Lynch is going to have a big day running on the ground as well. Robert Griffin III can’t run due to his injured leg, which takes the only explosiveness the Redskins have away. He’s not going to be able to throw for the big play either because the Seahawks secondary is going to shut the Redskins wide receivers down. The Redskins are going to have to run the ball and pray that they can get a few big plays. If I was a Redskins fan, I would be scared. However, I’m a Seahawks fan! I think the Seahawks are going to win this game by ten points. Winner: Seattle Seahawks 🙂

Now we can move on to soccer! So I’m gonna try to keep this brief since I just wrote a TON about the Seahawks but I’ll just write a little about the Sounders and about positions and that.

Goalkeeper: No concern here, Michael Gspurning is an outstanding goalkeeper. He was #2 in the league this last year, arguably number one. Back-up Marcus Hanneman has played for the U.S. National team and has been on multiple clubs in Europe. He is the best back-up in the MLS. Only concern is that Hanneman is in his 40’s. If Gspurning gets hurt can Hanneman carry the load over an extended period of time?

Defenders: Not really any concerns here either, the Sounders D is one of the best in the league. Jeff Parke and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado are two very solid center backs (which I appreciate because since I’m one I know it is not easy). Only thing I would like to see from the Sounders is to pick up a good back-up at center back. Zach Scott is a very hard-nosed player but he is NOT the answer at center back in case of a long-term injury to Parke or Hurtado. At outside backs the Sounders are stacked. Adam Johansson, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez and Marc Burch. I personally like to see both Johansson and Burch start.

Midfield: The Sounders midfield is very talented, but they just need more time playing together. At defensive mid, Osvaldo Alonso (Honey Badger) is the best ball-winner in the league. He was named to the BEST XI (top team) of the MLS this last year. Servando Carrasco is a decent back-up. Mauro Rosales had an outstanding year chalking up 13(?) assists- leading the league in that category. The captain will continue to play at right midfield. Left midfield is up for grabs. Mario Martinez showed that he has world-class skill and can wow people. Steve Zakuani will have another training camp under his belt and still has some in the tank. Christian Tiffert was playing a mixture of left midfield and attacking mid but he will have a starting position somewhere on the field. The transfer from the German Bundesliga (top league in Germany) came to the Sounders in midseason and played very well considering he had never played with any of these players before. It’s going to be a dogfight between Brad Evans and Andy Rose for the starting position at attacking mid. Andy Rose won the starting position from Brad Evans back at the start of the season and played very well for a rookie. He started sliding near the end of the season and lost the position back to Evans. Evans went absolutely bonkers and played out of his mind down the stretch and into the playoffs. Like I said, it’s going to be a tough choice to pick who starts. While there aren’t enough spots for all the midfielders, the Sounders play in multiple tournaments. They will be playing in the US Open Cup which they’ve won 3 out of the last 4 years. They will be playing the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League (tournament for North and Central America clubs plus the Caribbean clubs) come spring-time. All of these guys will have playing time, it is just who gets the most.

Forwards: No question to the starters here, Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero. Johnson had an outstanding season with the Sounders scoring 15 goals which led to him being called up to the U.S. National team for CONCACAF world cup group stage qualifying and he has been called up again for the CONCACAF hexagonal (last round of qualifying) that determines who goes to the World Cup. Fredy Montero scored more goals this last year than ever (13), and opened up a lot of room for Eddie Johnson. My only problem with Fredy is that he is very inconsistent and can disappear for 3-4 games at a time. I hope he can be a little more consistent this year. David Estrada is a very capable back-up, I know that he is in outstanding shape and finishes the opportunities he is given. In addition, Sammy Ochoa scored some goals in the CONCACAF Champions League (one that I got to see with my one eyes) and in the U.S. Open Cup. Plus two in MLS play. Therefore, if either Johnson or Montero go down and are injured I feel fine with Estrada and Ochoa for awhile. Plus both will carry the Sounders in the early U.S. Open Cup rounds where back-ups will be playing. They will be better than every single defense they play against.

Overall: The Sounders are in the best shape they’ve ever been in as a club. We have the best fans in MLS, and while we have less fans attendance wise compared to those in Europe, our fans are among the best in the world concerning commitment. And screaming and yelling haha! I go to a few games every year (I would go to more but I don’t have the money for it) and it is always an incredible experience being part of a 40,000 fan contingent that is cheering for the whole 90 minutes. If you have never went to a Sounders game before do it. Plus there are all the fans like me who watch just about every game. We have better players than ever, and are achieving success in CONCACAF play. I’m making the prediction this next year is going to be the Sounders year. They will win the MLS Cup!

It’s almost time to go back to school :/ whatevs though! It’ll be nice to see all my friends again.

P.S. I owe you one

So this post is going to basically highlight the best (and worst) of all my stuff this year. I will say right off the bat it has been a hard year for my family, my dad lost his job for awhile and until the last few months wasn’t working full-time. Now he is but his salary is down. So it hasn’t been the easiest; in fact, my Dad said he would be happy when this year came to an end. For me, this year has been the best of my life; bar none. Everything about this year that God has placed into my life has shaped me into a better person and I’ve learned so much. With the first paragraph I’m just going to stream back through the top memories this year the best I can monthly. Just top events. Then the next few of the paragraphs will be random stuff about the last year. Then I’ll have the best and worst moments of the year. Finally, I’ll put up part of my personal code of conduct that I developed this last year and follow to the best of my abilities because I think it would be good to share. This is gonna be really long lol, lock yourself in!

            January- Grandma Brasher died. That was a shock, she was an incredible woman. Raised 8 kids while working a full-time job as a secretary in some capacity in the Washington State government and passed on her Christian faith to ALL of them and her husband. I remember one of the last things she told me was her infamous growing up speech for guys lol. She has a whole speech that changes for every guy but it always led up to the same sentence- “Caleb (or whatever name of the guy), make sure you find a Christian woman who is beautiful both inside and out to get married to. Promise me that.” I was like of course I will Grandma (what else was I gonna say?) She’s with God where she always wanted to be now 🙂 I had Biology at Pierce, I loved my professor though 🙂 Professor Joy was super. We were playing in the state cup group stage for soccer and that certainly was an adventure, but we barely made it out lol. I guest-played indoor as well. I remember refereeing in the FREEZING cold plus the snow made it really slippery. I was working on the Super Essay for Writing class and wrote about the Cold War.

February- We lost in the state quarterfinals against Crossfire. It was a 0-0 game until the 60th min (two-thirds of a game) and then the floodgates opened. We ended up losing 4-1. I was really enjoying the workout center at Pierce. That place is state-of-the-art for a community college. The team I guest-played for sucked in indoor lol. I finished the Super Essay and got the best grade in the class and had my teacher say it was the only essay ready for college! One of the most crushing moments was when I was one of the last players cut from the Puyallup High School soccer team. I got really sick about a week before the tryouts and lost all of my fitness but still nearly made the team anyways. It still stings big-time.

March- I got a 96% on my Biology final. That certainly exceeded my expectations. Nothing much happened this month because I wasn’t playing soccer.

April- I turned 17. That was awesome. Now I only have three months till’ I’m 18, craziness 🙂 Easter was awesome, Jesus covered us big-time! I believe we started our prep meetings for Toppenish this month. I was cruising through American Sign Language 2. I did some serious running this month to keep myself in decent shape. It worked out well.

May-   More preparation for Toppenish, ASL 2 was still going well and I kept running like a good lad 😉 Couldn’t wait for the end of the school year.

June- The school year ended! I watched the co-op graduation and realized that would be me the next year. I promised some people I would invite them to the ceremony where I wear the pointy cap. I went to Toppenish. BEST THING of the year. I had such an epic time there and I learned so much about God. Plus I got to know people a lot better. Especially some of the dudes 🙂 and some of the gals 😉 Nobody draw any conclusions from the latter lol. I goofed off the rest of June except when soccer practices started. I sat on facebook and literally just walked around the house the rest of the time besides soccer. Plus I was still running a good 3 miles a day. Not bad for a soccer player.

July- annual trip with my family to my grandpa’s apple orchard in Chelan, that was fun. We went to the beach (but I think the pics would be too much for you guys 😉 did smores and listened to some classical music concerts that were part of the Bachfest that weekend. Soccer practice continued to go on and we had a good time. Chillin’ with friends was super. I finished making my shed for my Eagle Project and basically finished everything except the paperwork. That paperwork was harder than the project haha!

August- Well, we had a soccer tournament. So we had the last game of the group stage and we needed to win to advance to at least the 3rd/4th place game the next day. It was late at night and under the lights. It truly felt magical. It was a 0-0 for about 65 minutes out of a 70 minute game (tournament games are shorter). Our defense was doing super well and then our star forward put the ball in the back of the net. That moment was so electric that I can’t really describe it. It was just fantastic. We finished the game and while we lost to the same team 3-0 the next morning we’ll all remember when we delivered with our backs against the wall. I had to miss a friend’s birthday party to play in the 3rd/4th place game and I didn’t score a goal for her. I only got her my first ever yellow card as captain haha. What a b-day present 😉 I also started to attend the Revo High School youth group at Calvary Community Church after one of my best buddies invited me. That has been a blessing for me; I go on Sunday night and can get “Re-charged” with God before I head back into the school week. Plus my like 3 people I know are all awesome! I didn’t really even know one of these people yet they’ve become one of my best friends in no time 🙂 Rest of August was refereeing (which I did in July as well) and I made a lot of money! I did some stuff with my friends, including a day at my friend’s grandparent’s house. That was just a plain old good time and it was a sweet day.

September- Soccer season started. We did well in our first few games, we started off pretty good until we played a game with a really whacko ref. He ABSOLUTELY reffed horribly. I have seen the worst referees in this state either playing in a game with them reffing or reffing with them. I never saw a referee more biased, he gave them 3 goals in a game we lost 4-3. Later I had some friends come to my second game against this team and they said the team parents figured out the bad referee had a brother on the other team. That was great to know. I got all ready for school and the last week of September I started my senior year.

October- I got settled in my school pattern. Me and Fat Cow sat in Pre-Calc with Fikar which while she is excellent at explaining math, it is really hard to pay attention to math that long lol. English 101 was fun; I and my people in the front row had too much fun in that class. Professor Swart was an awesome English 101 teacher. Russian History with Vanneson was glorious. He teaches you so much if you write down everything he says and really listen hard. We hit a rough patch in soccer; we lost a few heart-breakers and had a few more lously refs. People think I complain about referees so much, but I do because I am a very good referee (that’s what everyone says to me) and these referees cost us a few games this year. It frustrates me to death at how cruddy these guys are to be frank. We had very few things bounce our way this season. WTPF started and that made me happy. We have a young leaders group this year and being one of the two seniors on it makes me feel partially responsible for the younger ones 😉 everyone in the group is awesome. Sometimes I think we stretch OUR adult leader a lot but she doesn’t mind lol.

November-  Well, school continued to go well. I had become a pretty good ping-pong player at this point and scored some solid wins. I played a lot of foosball as well. I actually had never had any friends come to any of my soccer games until a game in November. Thankfully, our team romped to a 7-2 victory that day and I managed to score a goal for my friends! I also scored a goal in front of my Dad in the group play for the state cup on the same day. I had never scored two goals in the same day until that day 🙂 In state cup we won our district semi-finals playing a man down for the whole game and two men down for the last ten minutes. We lost our district final 4-2 but thankfully we weren’t eliminated from the competition due to a wild card. There are 7 districts in Washington and the next step was the state quarterfinals. So you need eight teams. Therefore, one district gets the wild card and we got it! We then had one of our best games as a team in the state quarterfinal game. I was selected as the captain for this game. The game was back and forth, but with five minutes left we were losing 3-2 and I was wondering if we were going to lose in the quarterfinals for the 3rd straight year. We scored a goal to tie the game with 3 minutes left in regulation and entered overtime. We then hit paydirt with a dizzying set of passes and a volleyed finish to take the lead a little less than halfway through the overtime period. Our defense withstood massive pressure and the third time was the charm! Plus my uncle got to watch the game and it made the victory all the sweeter.

December- The State semifinals was so exciting. We got to play at the Starfire Sports Complex, which is where the Seattle Sounders FC practice, and we got to play on a field they train on. I had a pretty big and LOUD fan contingent (like 12 people lol) and once again I was the captain of our team. Our team fought really hard and it was a great game. The other team had more individual skill than ours, but we worked together better as a team. We fought to the death but ended up losing a close game 3-2. Our game was essentially the final because the team we lost to won the final 7-1. I have no doubt had we advanced to the final we would’ve recorded a similar result. Thus ended the Thunder soccer team. Gonna miss the team so much, at least some of us get to play indoor together. The last WTPF was so incredibly awesome; God was there and you could feel him pouring out his love on his kids. I always stand amazed because every time I think I’m getting closer to God he reveals that I have so far to go. This night reminded me of that. I have fallen in love with God 🙂 I had finals for school; two of them went super-well and the third don’t ask about lol. Because of the one bad class, my GPA fell from a 3.9 to a 3.8. I think I’ll live though. I’ve gotten all A’s and one B+ on my academic record… and now I have one D+ :/  oh well, I tried my best in the class and studied 24 hours for the final. I’m disappointed but I know I tried my best, and that’s all I can do. Math is not my strong suit. School ended, I got to go to the Hobbit with my friends and WTPF had a Christmas party. I had a great Christmas with my relatives from California (they come up for Christmas every two years) and I watched the Hobbit again because they hadn’t seen it. That was a long movie and then to watch it again? We watched it in 3D but the special effects were mostly underwhelming and I obviously knew the whole storyline. My knee was killing me because the seats were so close I couldn’t really move it lol. And that brings me to now, almost to 2013. Now for some random stuff…

                 So let’s just see my favorite stuff of the year in different categories.

 

Top 12 Favorite Songs

(Not Serious) Honorable Mention. Operator- Manhattan Transfer (only a few people will get this joke)

(Serious) Honorable Mention. I’m Only Me When I’m With You- Taylor Swift.

12. Die Young- Kei$ha

11. Listen to the Sound- Building 429

10. Phenomenon- Thousand Foot Krutch

9. Fearless- Taylor Swift.

8. You Save Me- Building 429

7. Never Going Back to Okay- The Afters

6. Live while we’re Young- One Direction

5. 22- Taylor Swift.

4. GoodTime-OwlCity and Carly Rae Jepson

3. Be Somebody- Thousand Foot Krutch

2. The End is Where We Begin- Thousand Foot Krutch

1. Call Me Maybe- Carly Rae Jepson. Call Me Maybe was the main theme song of Toppenish so it’s kinda unfair… but I have listened to this song more than any other!

 

Best book of the year:

Pontius Pilate by Paul Maier. It is a fascinating historical novel that tells you about Pilate’s whole reign as the prefect of Judea. I just finished reading it and I HIGHLY recommend it.

 

Top 10 Sports Teams I have rooted for this year.

10. Baltimore Ravens. I LOVE their defense. Their defense is second only to the Seahawks.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder

8. Manchester United, also a soccer team in the Barclays Premier League.

7. Bayern Munich- A soccer team in my homeland of Germany (I’m half-German).

6. Everton. A soccer team in the Barclays Premier League (best league in the world) which is in England.

5. United States Men’s National Soccer Team. They might have a game in Seattle soon!

4. Seattle Mariners. I’ve followed the team through their dry spell of the last 8 years. I even listened to their 17 inning game that went until 1:15 in the morning this year. Of course they had to lose lol!

3. FC Barcelona. The best soccer team in Spain that has Lionel Messi on their team.

2. Seattle Seahawks. I’ve actually paid WAY more attention to the Seahawks and the NFL this year than I normally do. The Seahawks defense is INCREDIBLE!! Russell Wilson, beast mode… I think the Hawks got a really good shot at the Super Bowl!

1. Seattle Sounders FC. Rave Green!!!!

 

Top 10 Worst Moments of the Year

10. When we lost our 3rd/4th place game in our summer tournament 3-0 to a premier team that was a year younger than we were. I was the captain in this game and received a yellow card in it. It was a major disappointment not to bring home a better result.

9. When a girl thought I was hitting on her (untrue) and decided to let her friends know about it. That was really embarrassing and tarnished my reputation lol

8. When I almost got in a fight with a kid in our district final. He was the worst player on the other team but was boasting about how good he was. I really felt like thumping him and would’ve if the ball hadn’t come our way then… that was one of the few times I’ve ever lost my cool anywhere. People who know me know it takes A TON to make me lose my cool. The word actually came out that he wanted to go if we met again. They lost in their quarterfinal match-up or else we would’ve played them again. I wonder how that would’ve gone…

7. When I got caught in a social mess. I mostly try to stay out of them but I was in the middle of this one. Thankfully that brewed over.

6.When I flunked my driver’s license test the first time because my wheels went an inch off the road while backing around a corner. The test person was a mean lady and a ____  . Fill that blank with whatever you please lol. That was not a pleasant experience.

5. I was so busy with school that I never noticed how far my library fines went up until I saw $23.00 when I logged into the library website. Plus the $12.00 later on. After “donating” a lot of money to the library I think I’ve learned my lesson at this point.

4. When I got a D on my math final, which brought my previous grade of a B- all the way down to a D+ That was not a happy moment.

3. When I messed up my leg and never was able to get it healed due to overuse in the last half of the soccer season. We were playing two games every weekend and my leg would barely make it to the end of every game, overtimes sucked. I’m doing physical therapy and it looks like the leg will heal, Christmas Break has been a good rest as well.

2. When I yanked a guy down by his shirt in the district final and then repeated the offense in the state semifinal. That went against all of my principles, but I just did it in the spur of the moment. Never should’ve done it either time. I feel forgiven now, but at the time I felt horrible.

1.  When I got cut from the Puyallup High School soccer team. Devastating to say the least.

 

Top 10 Best Moments of the Year

10. Every moment of this year has just been so precious to me, and so yea, every moment except the 10 worst count! It’s not really one moment, but making a lot of new friends and strengthening my relationships with others. I know my friendships have gotten stronger this year and I’ve gotten to know people way better. I’ve went from not being social to sometimes probably a little over-the-top lol! Especially when someone you barely even knew five months ago is now one of your best friends, that is a ride for sure 🙂

9. Our team clawing back from a 3-0 deficit in the state cup early January and tying the game at the death. That was just a team that gave everything they had and refused to flop over and lose. We’ve always been that way, but that game was another game I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

8. Going to the homeschool formal and not feeling awkward! I had a lot of friends and that was a super-long night but a super-fun night as well.

7. Coming from behind at the death to tie the state quarterfinal and then winning it in overtime. That was simply epic.

6. Scoring two goals in one day, I’ve never done that before. Plus I got to score in front of my friends and my dad, that made it all the better.

5. Getting a 96% on my Biology final earlier in the year, and it was a 100-question test. That was incredible!

4. Finishing my Eagle Scout project by building my shed! It was a long road but finally getting that done made me very happy.

3. Successfully passing my driver’s test and getting my license. That has given me so much freedom and just has been super to have.

2. Finally getting over the hump and actually getting to play in a state semifinal. That was something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. Just getting to play at Starfire and having a big group of fans just for me!

1. The trip to Toppenish. My life has been completely changed from that trip and God has just put me on fire for him. I really don’t know how I was living life without him. Plus I learned so much about life in general, had a sweet time and got closer to a bunch of friends.

 

            Some parts of my personal code of conduct.

 

Starting with my family. Strive to treat your parents with the upmost respect that you can no matter what situation it is. Be vulnerable with them for the most part. If you have private conversations with other people you don’t want your parents to see simply tell them so. They’ll leave the emails/messages alone to respect your privacy; however, if you try to hide it from them that is not right. (My personal choice) Give them your phone before you go to bed every night and let them have the password to your email. My parents have always had the password to my email. That way they can’t say at any point you are hiding anything from them because they have the power to read anything in your inbox. Every conversation will at some point be in your inbox when your parents look. If you feel like they aren’t being fair in general, just walk away before you get yourself into more trouble. No use arguing if they aren’t going to change their mind. Have fun with your siblings, that’s half the reason they’re there!  Share with them as much as you’re comfortable. Tell them just enough to make them feel happy. Do things for your siblings and parents to show your love for them. Go to their events to make them feel loved, because you do love them. Tell them things that boost their confidence. Help them pursue their dreams.

 

How to live life. Realize you don’t deserve a single breathe of your life and that every second you live is a gift. Live EVERY second of your life to the full because you aren’t going to get the time back and God has given you the day to make the most of the opportunities he’s given you. Never let your past define what you can be, only let your past keep you from making the same mistakes that you have. Don’t just walk through life with a meek attitude, go out and change the world. Don’t just be content with what you’re given; be content only when you’ve given your full effort to improve your position. Talk to God before you make decisions, even just a 10-second chat with God in your head is better than nothing. Never stop fighting for what you believe and NEVER EVER give up. Once you give up that proves you are a weakling and weaklings fail in life. Be the best person you can be and the one that God made you to be.

 

How to treat your friends. Put the best effort you can into every friendship that you have. If you treat a person badly, then mend it. If you hear from someone else that a person is upset with you, talk to the person who isn’t happy with you. Don’t let a bad situation sit. Talk with your friends about everything from sports to fun to their problems… help them out wherever they need it. Find ways to do stuff with your friends in person and follow their life to the best of your abilities. Treat each individual like they’re the important person in your life because you don’t know what that person’s day may be like. You may be one of the bright spots in their day. Encourage your friend’s dreams. Always leave some time in case a friend needs to talk. Just be a solid friend at all times.

 

How to treat that one special person. Let them know you have special feelings for them, but don’t repeat it EVERY time you talk to them lol. Just remind them occasionally. Never tell them your deepest feelings for them- those are the precious ones you keep bound up in your heart until the time is right to let them out (which is after you tie the knot).  Every time you see them you let them know they are incredible one way or another. Whether it’s the stuff they’ve achieved, how they look, something they’ve learned… always make a mature and appropriate comment that makes them feel great 🙂 Ask them about how they’re growing in God and what they’ve learned about him lately. If you know they’re stressed out, be that person that makes them relax. You conform yourself to help them out because once you assume it’s not your job that’s when it starts going downhill. If they give you a compliment NEVER wave it off. ALWAYS say thank you and branch into a similar topic. That way they know you truly appreciate their compliment because you’re willing to talk about it and not just say a quick thank you. Don’t do ANYTHING inappropriate around them because they deserve your best. Definitely help them with their dreams and sacrifice your time to assist them in finding who they are. Don’t just comment about their events, FREAKIN’ GO to them! Make the best effort you possibly can to get to know them better and better every single day of your life until you run out of days (I couldn’t think of a better ending lol).

 

*These are all shortened. Maybe someday I’ll have a post which is just my personal code of conduct but that would be pretty long like this post!

 

Thanks to all you people who are a part of my life. I appreciate every single one of you and the dynamic you bring to my life because my life wouldn’t be the same without you! I gotta give the last part of this to God though. He’s completely changed me over the last six months and it’s been incredible. I just can’t really describe how awesome and wonderful God is. He sent his son Jesus to die for sinful me knowing that all Jesus was going to save was a guy with a bunch of flaws. God saved me because he saw what he could do with me. His love is deep, strong , and most importantly furious. It NEVER STOPS!!! Whenever I get depressed I always remember Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm give you a hope and a future.” To be brutally honest, it seems like the only thing I’ve done for Christmas break is figure out my flaws, but I’ve learned it doesn’t matter as long as I submit myself to God because he’s the only one who can truly set me free. My future has him written all over it but the rest of the future is like a page of a book. I’m itching to make my mark. 2013 is upon us… I’m ready to go full-bore at it with the help of my God. The future is here and I’m not backing down. It’s time to change the world, one small step at a time. Let’s go… and always go one more.

 

P.S. I DEFINITELY owe you one 🙂            

“What you do wi…

“What you do with your life doesn’t matter at all. You can’t make a difference in the world. You can’t do anything on your own power. Now if you add God to that, the scenario changes. What you do with your life does matter, you can make a difference in the world, and you can do anything through Christ who strengthens you.” – Caleb Brasher