July 18, 2016

Eighteen Years

Hey, everyone. I have exciting news!

Yes, indeed, folks it is my birthday and not only that, it is my eighteenth birthday. 


(Well, it will be my eighteenth birthday. I'm writing this the night before. So...as of now I'm still 17.) 

(Not really. I'll be with my family :D)

For this post, I tried to recall a memory from each of my past eighteen years on planet earth, but I couldn't do it. It would take me all day to think of a memory from when I was three. So I tossed that idea.

For some reason the thought of using the number eighteen some how in my post  is appealing, so I decided to share eighteen of my favorite quotes with you. Quotes are inspiring, and being eighteen and done with high school is inspiring. So...yeah. I'm sharing inspiration with you all. ;)


1. "Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide." C.S. Lewis

.: \

2. "We have to choose joy and keep choosing it." Henri J.M. Nouwen

3. “I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”  Laura Ingalls Wilder

wildflower bouquet | image via: hello may:

4.“Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

5. “…. I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” J.R.R. Tolkien

6. "It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does." William Faulkner
Arthur ;)
(to those of you who know about my book, you will know who this is. :))

7. "I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I would like to be, I am not what I would hope to be, but I am not what I once was, and by the grace of God, I am what I am." John Newton

8. “I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people KNOW more... though I know that IS the noblest ambition... but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me... to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
Picking Roses, Percy Tarrant. (1879-1930):

9. “He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.”  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
via @nicolehunziker on Instagram http://ift.tt/219JoW8:

10. "The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can't supply is proof that Heaven must be our home." C. S. Lewis

The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can't supply is proof that Heaven must be our home. - C.S. Lewis | Lisa made this with Spoken.ly:

11. "Be the type of person you want to meet." 
American Army nurses stationed in Melbourne during WWII:

12.“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.”
William Goldman, The Princess Bride
"Her heart was a secret garden, and the walls were very high." William Goldman, The Princess Bride:

13. "The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely." Louisa May Alcott

13."The most important thing in life is to stop saying 'I wish' and to start saying 'I will.'" Charles Dickens
In a familiar scene that all of us can likely relate to, a 1940s woman (in a cute dress, I should point out - note the scalloped hem and sleeves) tackles the task of scrubbing the family bathtub yet again. #vintage #1940s #homemaker #housewife #cleaning:
(a very inspiring quote when you need to clean out the bathtub :P)

14. "Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality." Beatrix Potter 


15.“It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
 Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility:

16.“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking

17.“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

18.“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” Elisabeth Elliot
JOHN NEWTON HOWITT (American, 1885-1958). Picking Flowers:

It's hard to believe I've lived eighteen years on this earth. But they've been wonderful. I feel so blessed that God saw fit to let me live this long, with such a loving family and amazing friends. And that includes all of you! I feel that I might be a very different sort of person if I had never started a blog and "met" all of my lovely blogger friend. You all encourage me and make me so happy with all your lovely comments. Thank you!! -hugs-

I'm sitting on my bed as I write this. It's dark outside, with fireflies undoubtedly blinking away. I'm trying to find the best way to phrase what I want to say, but I'm such a jumble of feelings. And not all those feelings are ones I want to share on my public blog. ;)

I have a lot of uncertainty about the future. I've finished high school, I'm turning 18, and I have...no idea where I'm going in life. :P Sure, I have dreams, plans, and ideas, but life always turns out differently from what you expect.

Some days my future seems exciting and full of opportunity. Other days it's a little scary. On still other days, I can feel like Katherine Brooke in Anne of Avonlea where she says something to the effect of, "I see my road stretching ahead of me, with no bends in it at all." I think nothing is scarier than the notion of having a monotonous, boring life.

But I know that's not true. God has continually reminded me of how unpredictable life is. Many times I've had my ideas and plans turned upside down and shaken around into something new. And every time MY plans go wrong, I can see where God's plan was so much better. His way is always best.

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6,

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

I feel as if I quote it a lot, but it is so comforting. I've been amazed by how many situations I've been able to apply this verse to--and how true it is. 

I'm excited for this new year of my life. Despite all the negative feelings that can sometimes come to the surface concerning my future, I know I can trust in my God and King that all will come out well in the end. He's holding me in His hands--and there's certainly no place I'd rather be then there.

For I hold you by your right hand--I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, 'Don't be afraid. I am here to help you.
Isaiah 41:13


ps. The saddest thing about being eighteen is that I'm now older than Jack Kelly. Where is my childhood going...


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAAAAAY!!!!! What beautiful quotes! :-) Also, congratulations on finishing school! Yaysies.

    Such an interesting and lovely person such as you can't have a monotonous life before her, Natalie! You are going to rock life. :-P Don't worry about it - just grab opportunities that interest you and search for good and helpful things to do; you will have plenty of interesting bends ahead. :-)
    (I definitely know what you mean though; it's so easy to worry about those kind of things!)

    I hope you have a WONDERFUL day, dear! Enjoy being eighteen!!! (OLDER THAN JACK KELLY. O_O)

    1. Thank you, Naomi!! :D And YES. NO MORE SCHOOL!

      Awwww. -hugs- Thank you so much. <3

      I did!! And I think I will, haha! (I KNOW)

  2. Yay!!!

    Happy Birthday, Natalie!!!

    First off, can I say that that me party gif is too perfect for words?! (Is it off a movie or something? She looks a bit like Amy Adams from Leap Year...)
    Oh, haha, and that Gandalf gif. XD

    Well, few things make me more happy than quotes, so this entire post was SUCH a pleasure to read. :D I loved all the quotes!!! My favourites were #1, #4, (IT'S AUDREY AND GREGORY!!!) (and oh look, Henry's winking *blushes), #8, #11, (haha, that bathtub one! You and me both, girl! ;D) #14, (#15 startled me - that quote is dangerously close to a famous quote from the first Batman movie with Christian Bale :P) and #17! But seriously, all of them -- ALL OF THEM = <3. I'm gonna go write them down in my quotes book. :D (I'm really proud of my quotes book. My elder brother gave it to me as a birthday present just before I saw Les Miserables live with him, and it is a small, real leather, beautifully engraved book, with a little clasp and special, fuzzy kind of paper. I was not expecting it but good gracious, he knows me well! I love it SO much.)

    Aww! You're welcome! *returns hug*

    Ooohh, you have FIREFLIES? :O I have never seen one. :P

    "He's holding me in His hands--and there's certainly no place I'd rather be then there." Amen, sister. :D

    Also, your p.s. statement had me smiling. That's just about the worst thing ever... you're OLDER than JACK KELLY?! Oh, poor Natalie! That really is a sad thought.
    Well, I'm sure there are plenty of girls who had wonderful things happen when they were 18. I thiiink Anne Shirley was 18 when she had that glorious scene with Gilbert Blythe about "I don't want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you." Maybe someday soon you'll meet your Gilbert Blythe. :)

    Happy birthday, dear! <3

    ~Miss Meg

    1. *I beg your pardon, I just used the wrong name (how awful of me!) - ARTHUR is winking at me. ;) No idea why I said Henry... it just popped out!


    2. Miss Meg,
      Aww, thank you SO much!! :D

      Yes, I think it is Amy Adams. I'm not sure what movie it's from, though. :/

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It was quite fun to put together. Yes, AUDREY AND GREGORY! <3 So sweet! Heehee, and yes, Arthur! (Don't worry about getting the names mixed up. I might have even done it myself once or twice when talking about my book to my brother. haha!)

      Really? That's so funny! I'd love to see Christian Bale as Batman. :)

      Your quotes book sounds SO beautiful. What a wonderful brother he must be. :)

      You've never seen a firefly? You poor dear! I actually never really saw any before I moved. While traveling I saw a bunch for the first time and it was such a thrilling experience. It's still one of my favorites from the move. I hope you can see them some day! They're really pretty. :)

      Thanks. <3

      Yes, I knoooow. But, hahaha, thank you for pointing that out. There's always Gilbert Blythe. ;) He's just as wonderful as Jack. I really don't know who I like better!

      Thanks again, friend!! <3

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! :-) I hope you have a FABULOUS day and next year!

    I'm kind of in the same boat -- I'm still seventeen and have one more year of school, but the pressure (where will you go to college? What will you do?) is mounting and while it's exciting, it's also terrifying. There is some special place for you somewhere, where only you belong...just waiting on God's timing and trying to buck up and take hold of opportunities is the hard part. ;-P But I wish you all the best!

    And what a great collection of quotes....my favorite is probably the one from Anne's House of Dreams. (Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn laughing together just made my day.)

    1. Thank you SO much, Emma!! :D

      Yeees. Exactly. It's definitely rather scary sometimes.. Thank you for the encouragement. I wish you all the best too! And I will keep you in my prayers. I know God has a special plan for each of us. :)

      Thanks! That one from the Anne book is one of my favorites, too. I have it printed up and posted to the side of my bookshelf. I've always felt it was my "manifesto" of sorts. :)

    2. Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I really like your new profile picture!

  4. Happy Birthday Natalie!!!!!!!! And what a awesome quotes!!!!

    Have a splendid day dear!!!

  5. Happy birthday! May you have a wonderful year of sunshine and good cheer. God bless! :)

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Natalie!!! I hope you spoil yourself today.
    Oh, but don't I understand about not knowing about the future! All I can say is, well, what you already said--trust in the Lord. I guess that's really all you can do!
    Those quotes were positively beautiful. I especially loved the one from Anne, but of course I'm not biased at all. :)
    I really hope your birthday is absolutely fabulous!

    1. Thank you, Rae!! :D
      Yes, indeed. I'm glad you can relate--but, at the same time, sorry you have those feelings too. I will keep you in my prayers! I know God will see us though. :)
      Heehee, I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks!

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you dear girl!! I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day!

    And...GAHHH. This was a beautiful post! Such a cool idea to include eighteen of your favorite quotes. And the pictures, too!! They're lovely! :D

    Mwahahaha! That gif of Gandalf, though! That's PERFECT!!

    Ohh! I liked so many of these quotes. They're so good. No. 1 especially stood out to me and I'm definitely going to save that one. Also the Beatrix Potter one. That's adorable. Yay, Beatrix Potter! I like you. ;) Haha! That Charles Dickens quote coupled with that picture!!! That's awesome. "(a very inspiring quote when you need to clean out the bathtub. :P)" Haha. I hear you! ;)

    I also like that quote by William Faulkner. That's really cool. (Yes, I do believe I'm going to have to copy a lot of these. ;)) And, ohhh!! It's ARTHUUUUUR!!! So nice to see him again!! :D Seriously, Natalie, you must get back into editing soon. It's been too long!!

    1. Thank you, Miss March!! :D

      I'm so happy you liked it! Heehee, the pictures were quite fun to "match" to the quotes. :)

      I actually thought of you when I picked out that picture of the bathtub because it reminded me of your "motherhood" photo. :D (Except yours had kids in it. So it's automatically better. Haha!)

      -cringes- I knoooow. I think of it so often. I really have no excuse now (I have plenty of time to start editing) but it still hasn't felt "right" yet. I hope, if not by the end of this summer, to start again in the fall. I must exert my willpower and do it because I miss my darling characters. :( And Arthur's wink...he's so sweet.

  8. Happy birthday Natalie! Goodness, I can't believe you're 18. I still remember when you were a smaller blog (and so was I!) and you commented to join my tag. Can you believe that was almost three years ago? Because I can't. Reading your blog and communicating through comments has given me a doorway into your mind and your life and I'm sure we all appreciate that. I hope you continue to grow and better your relationship with the Lord (as I am trying) and I hope you go on to do great things that you love in the future.

    1. Thank you, Anna! :) Yes! I remember that, too. Goodness, three years. I definitely have a hard time believing that much time has passed!
      Aww, thank you. I've so enjoyed getting to know you through blogging, too. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! <3


    I loved reading all the gifs you used at the top of your post to describe your thought process as you thought of this post. Thinking of a three year old memory and Gandalf was probably my favorite. :D

    I really liked the result of your birthday post though, quotes?? LOVE THEM!! Like, a lot! Haha. Particularly that last one with the cute picture of the vintage girl.

    You have fireflies?!! Oh, you lucky, lucky, girl!! :D I miss seeing fireflies!

    And I really liked your P.S. That's great. Hehehe

    1. Thanks a bunch, Cordy!

      Heehee, glad you enjoyed them.

      YES. Quotes are so wonderful. I'm so happy you liked the post!

      I'm sorry you don't have fireflies. :( They're one of my favorite parts of summer.

      Haha, thanks! :D

  10. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! *scatters celebratory confetti everywhere*

    Happy birthday, dear Natalie!!!

    I love your quotes so much--especially the Beatrix Potter one; that is SO SO SO TRUE. And it's extremely important to be original and embrace your own uniqueness; since, after all, no one else can be YOU as well as you can :-)

    1 year older than Jack Kelly--MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's nothing--not when you are FOUR years younger than MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I'M the one who should be worried about getting older, not you!!!!! ;-)

    Seriously, though, don't worry about your future. Plan for it as well as you can, yes, and try to figure out what it is you'd like to do with your life, and all that; but don't be afraid of what's ahead. Because whatever it is, remember you can DEFINITELY handle it with style--with God's help. He is amazing and He will always be there for you.

    1. *tries to catch the confetti* :P Thank you, Jessica!!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the quotes. Yes, isn't that a fantastic one?

      Hahaha! I don't think either of us have the right to worry about getting older yet. :D At least you're still younger than most of Jane Austen's heroes (at least I would assume so). I do think that one of the saddest things about getting older is passing the ages of your favorite characters.

      Awww, thank you. <3

  11. Happy Birthday to you! Lovely post :)

  12. Happy Birthday! I'm going to be eighteen in less than three weeks myself. You are not alone in being older than Jack Kelly :P Though I don't think it's going to be that bad. I'm rather excited myself...

    1. Ooh, really? Yay! Happy early birthday, Rosie!! And thank you so much. :D (Oh no, you too!)
      Heehee, I'm excited to be 18, too. I think you'll like it. :)

  13. Okay, this is awkward. I had NO IDEA you'd done a birthday post until this very hour!

    What a perfect sort of birthday post - every quote is so wonderful that I'm going to have to read them many more times before I can even have them sink in. :)

    And the whole "getting older than favorite characters", yes it's a challenge, but what's kind of fun is how so many of them seem to rather 'grow up with one', too, if you know what I mean!

    Anyway, I'm sure you had a lovely day and all, and I hope you have a good eighteen and five days evening, too. :)

    1. Oh, don't worry about it! I don't mind at all. :)

      Aww, glad you liked them!

      Yes, indeed. Hmm, that's true. The great thing about characters is that they never change from being the wonderful people that we love. :)

      Thank you so much, my dear friend! <3

  14. "Well, aren't we shamefully late?--How are you, Claire?--It was the duchess! That ill-mannered woman kept us all waiting, and then..." (Heehee.)

    Seriously, I am reprehensibly behind on this *facepalm* Oh, well, better late than never, right?

    HAPPY (BELATED) BIRTHDAY, DEAREST NATALIE!!!! You're such a treasure. I am so so thankful God let us meet--I don't know what it'd be like, blogging without you! I really appreciate your kindness, humor, caring, and dedication and trust in the Lord. It's inspiring! I hope this next year exceeds all your wildest expectations <3 <3 <3

    And hurrah for the quotes! I loved them all so :D Especially the ones by Lewis (#BAE) and *squeals* you used the Princess Bride one!!!! That made me sooooooooo happy. Isn't it great?! It's one of my "theme quotes", too ;)

    All the pictures were gorgeous, as well! And the gifs x'D How do you find such witty gifs?? :P

    The concluding paragraphs of this post were so beautiful <3 (Oh, and I forgot: CONGRATS ON FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL!!! *confetti and butterflies*) To echo everybody else, I feel in the same boat sometimes, but just keep praying! He'll reveal His will for us when He's good and ready--the important thing then is to believe it in faith! You two have got this <3 You'll have anything but a monotonous and boring life, I feel quite certain :)

    Have an absolutely splendid day, dear friend :)

    1. Haha! Good use of that quote. ;) But oh, please don't feel bad. I understand, and indeed, it always is better late than never. Besides, it was fun getting wished a happy birthday again! :D

      Awww, thank you!! I just....I have no words. You are too kind!!! Thanks again and again!! <3 -hugs- I'm so thankful for blogging! I can't imagine never getting to know all you wonderful people. I'm so grateful God has blessed me with your friendship. :)

      Yay, I'm glad you liked them! C. S. Lewis!! Oh, he's so brilliant. And yes! That's such a beautiful quote. I really want to read that book again. I started it a long time ago, but I don't think I finished it. :P

      Heehee, I have a collection (of gifs) saved that I've found over the years through blogging and pinterest. It comes in handy. ;)

      Thank you SO much!!! Heehee, confetti and butterflies is a wonderful combination. And your words are so encouraging. Thank you, friend!

      You as well, Olivia! -hugs-


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