Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Liebster Award!

Hello, everyone!

Kaitlyn K. from Twin Thoughts tagged me for the Liebster Award! :D Thanks so much, Kate! 

Some of you may remember me doing this sometime last year, but of course, the questions are different every time. I'm so excited to do this! Let's dive right into it...

The Rules:
-Link back to the person that tagged you.
-Answer the eleven questions.
-Tag eleven bloggers, and let them know you tagged them.
-Ask your tagged bloggers eleven questions.

The Questions:

1. What is your favorite hobby?
Reading, writing, sports... They're all my favorite. ;)

2. What does your first name mean?

There's kind of a cool story surrounding my parents' decision to name me Olivia, but I'll stick with the simple explanation that God told my mom to name me that, and this verse:

"Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table."
Psalm 128:3 (KJV)

3. What is your favorite family memory?
Oh, that's a tough one; there are too many! One of my recent favorites is definitely our family trip to San Antonio, and another family vacation a few years back when we went to the Creation Museum! :D

4. What's your personality type?
INFJ fits me the best, and it's the one I've gotten the most after taking the quizzes. :) The N/F can be traded given the situation, though. It all depends, and no personality type always fits anyone perfectly (or at least not to my knowledge). ;p

5. If you had the opportunity to have a 4-course meal, all with foods you choose, what would the meal consist of?
Food!!! xD Um, boiled crawfish, steak, BREAD, steamed broccoli, something chocolate for dessert (I'd take a milkshake, cheesecake, as long as it's chocolate!). :D

6. Would you rather have a pet dolphin or a pet bear?
Probably a dolphin, because they're awesome and I could swim with them!

7. What's one random thing about you that few people know?

I'm left-handed!

8. What's your favorite holiday?
Hm... I think Christmas would have to be my absolute favorite, but the Fourth of July is very close behind!! :D

9. What quote (from a book, movie, or YouTube video) do you find yourself saying often?

Oh goodness, there's too many. My sisters and I have tons of inside jokes with quotes... Pretty much any line from the movie National Treasure. ;p

"I don't know what that means!" (in a strange accent) is another we use often. I think it was from some kids cartoon XD

10. If you could live in any other previous time period, which one would you choose?

The 1800s in the west! (I know, I know, it's probably not all the movies have made it out to be, but I think it'd still be pretty awesome!)

11. If you could see yourself from someone else's perspective, who's perspective would you choose and why? (It could be a family member's, a friend's, your local librarian's, etc.)
That's a hard one, too! How about everybody? Hm, maybe some of friends (online and/or in real life). This is partly where my INFJ personality comes into play. 



And that's it for the questions! Thanks again, Kaitlyn!

And now, I tag...

-Anyone who is reading this (which probably makes it eleven bloggers, right?). XD

Y'all's Questions:

1. What is your personality type? 
2. What's your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
3. What would be your dream job?
4. Puppies or kittens?
5. Do you play an instrument? If so, which one(s)?
6. If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you pick to go?
7. What's your favorite season of the year?
8. What was the last thing you ate?
9. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
10. What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
11. What does your first name mean? And if you could change it, would you and what would it be?

That's it for today, y'all! Have a wonderful week!

~Livi Jane

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Circle C Milestones - Missing Scene

Good morning!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thursday!

For those of you who read the Circle C books by Susan K. Marlow (if you don't, you should so check them out!), I wrote a "missing" scene from book one of the Milestones series, Thick as Thieves.

If you'd like to check it out, go HERE.

~Livi Jane

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

He is Risen!

Good morning, all!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday!

We got up early Sunday morning to go to our church's seven-thirty am service (an added service for Easter Sunday). It was a wonderful service. Our church is reading through the One Year Bible together this year, and every week the sermon is based on something in our readings the past week. It was cool how our pastor related our readings to the resurrection of Jesus! :D

After service ended, I hurried to change into jeans before heading over to the staff meeting for the next service.

Our kids church service was super awesome, too! I'm a part of the praise and worship team, so we spent the few minutes before service started practicing before the real thing. It was so much fun!

When we made it home from church, my dad went to work grilling for lunch (yum!). My grandparents came over not long after, and the rest of the day was spent eating, hanging out, eating some more, decorating eggs, eating again, and finally ending with Bible reading. :)
All-in-all, it was a wonderful Easter!!

So, the other night, I jotted down a poem that I planned to share on Sunday, but I got distracted and never got around to it, so sorry!

However, the resurrection of Jesus should be celebrated all year around, right? :D

So here is my poem, titled The Gift of Salvation. Enjoy!


The Gift of Salvation

~A Poem by Olivia Jane~

Body broken and in the grave,
The sin of the world on Him was laid.
Blood poured out and shed on the cross,
Pure and blameless, yet He paid the cost.
He spoke three words, saying, "It is finished."
And in that moment, He gave up His spirit.
He was placed in a tomb; there seemed nothing more,
But three days later, Christ emerged the victor!
He loved us so much He was willing to die,
Now He is risen, alive, and lifted high!
Because of this love, we can be forgiven,
No matter what you have done, no matter how great the sin.
The choice is yours, it's placed in your hands,
Will you accept the free gift of God's salvation?


I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad God sent His son to Earth to die so that we could spend forever with Him (even though we don't deserve it)! That's such a crazy thought, but it only proves His love for us!!

I love this Veggietales song!

How's was everyone's Resurrection Sunday? 

Have a wonderful day!

~Livi Jane

Monday, April 17, 2017

Imagine This Entry - Short Story

Good morning!

A few weeks ago, Faith P. over at Stories By Firefly hosted a little challenge... Write an 800-ish word story based off a picture. (Head over to Faith's blog to read the details.)

Anyway, I thought I'd tune in today with my entry. It was a great challenge, as it motivated me to get some writing done. So thank you, Faith! ;)

I haven't come up with a title, so I'd love to hear any ideas! :)

"Cooper! Pay attention!"
I jerked and glanced over at my commander, who had a scowl wider'n the Mississippi River on his face.
"Yes, sir! Sorry, sir!" I kept my face blank.
Commander Philips grunted. "I thought you were fixing that." His dark eyes scanned the ginormous metal excuse for a tank. "You're not here to stand around."
"Yes, sir," I quickly agreed.
He nodded once and turned back to his own task.
Once his back was to me, I heaved a sigh and hopped down from my position on top of the tank.
As tough and manly as I tried to act around the others, I knew the truth. I was still just nothing more than a mere boy, barely nineteen. And I missed home.
I missed the gentle voice of my mother and the conversations between myself and my father. I missed the laughter of my younger brothers and sister. I even missed their silly arguments.
I sighed again. What I wouldn't give to be back on American soil. This war was wretched; no respecter of persons. War was a cloud of death that loomed over each and every one of us soldiers, ready to snatch us up and carry us away at a moment's notice.
"Something wrong, Coop?"
I gave my comrade a half-glance and waved him off. "I'm 'k, Jack."
The eighteen-year-old didn't seem to hear my words. Instead, he hoisted himself up atop the tank's treaded wheels.
"How's it comin'?" Jack wanted to know. I shrugged.
"It's hard to fix something you know is going to be used to kill others."
Jack flinched at my soft words. He swallowed. "Yeah, well, just you think about how awful those Germans we're shooting at are. Then maybe you won't be so sympathetic."
I glanced up at the young soldier. Although Jack and I met only recently, we had become fast friends. He had barely lost his father and an older brother in this war when he was thrust into the midst of it himself.
I shook my head. "Jack," I told him, keeping my voice gentle, "they're soldiers, too. Just like us. They're fighting for what they believe in."
"Well," Jack growled in defense, "it's their own fault we're all out here shooting at each other." He hung his head. "I just want to go back home."
I tossed him a half-smile that told I felt the same way. "Me, too." I used the hem of my jacket to rub some dirt away from the piece of metal I was examining.
"You got kinfolk back home, Louie?"
I pulled my head up from my work, eyebrows arched in surprise. I didn't recall Jack ever calling me by my first name. He'd always gone with the nickname "Coop", just like the rest of the soldiers.
His eyes were scanning the dirt ground; one elbow supported his body as he leaned against the heavy machinery.
I swallowed at the younger man's question. Most of the time, I tried to keep thoughts of my family away when I was around the others. I saved the precious family memories for when I had a chance to go to bed and weep without being noticed. It was hard not to think about them; I missed all of 'em terribly.
"Yeah," I choked out. "My parents, and then my three younger brothers and my little sister." A tiny smile skittered across my face at the thought.
Jack threw me a crooked grin. "I got a kid sister, too. Gracie. And two older..." He trailed off, and I saw his jaw muscles tighten. "One older brother," he corrected through gritted teeth. He ran a hand through his mop of thick, dark hair and jerked his head away.
I wasn't sure how to respond, so I just nodded slowly and returned to my work.
Twice? I glanced over my shoulder. "Yeah?"
Jack was gazing up at the sky, a sky that seemed too cheery and bright under the circumstances of war. "Y'think God really cares about what's going on down here?"
The question took me by surprise. "Yes, I think He does," I answered truthfully. My thoughts drifted back home to the crackling fireplace, all us Cooper children gathered around, listening to Father read the Scriptures and lead us in prayer every evening.
“‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’” I quoted, lifting my deep blue eyes to gaze up at the sky along with my fellow soldier. “I guess it's a pretty easy thing to forget.”
Jack dipped his head in a slow, deliberate nod of agreement.
“It is,” he agreed. “Especially after your father and brother are killed within a week of each other.” His voice shifted to a bitter tone. “Makes you wanna know why.”
“Jack, I know it hurts, and we don't always know the reasons, but we have to trust that God has a plan.” I offered an encouraging smile. “I'll keep you in my prayers.”One corner of Jack’s mouth turned upward. “Thanks, Louie. I guess I may have lost a brother in this war, but it looks like I've gained another.”


I'd love to hear your thoughts! :D

Have a wonderfully blessed day, everyone! <3

~Livi Jane

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

365 Days ago...


I was working today on figuring out blog posts (I have some coming, don't worry!), and I realized I had forgotten something. Something important.

April 7th marked ONE YEAR since I started this blog!!!! (Plus, it's my 60th post!)

I had absolutely no clue what I was getting myself into when a couple of online friends urged me to join the blogging world.

So, in honor of this one year anniversary, my post today is going to be Three Things I Learned Through Blogging. 

Of course, there's more than just three, but we'll stick with these so I don't spend a week trying to finish this post! ;p


1. Not to be so secretive with my writing.

Before I started blogging, I hated showing my work to anyone, especially people I knew in real life. What if it was awful? What would they think of me afterward? It wasn't perfect enough, or as good as so-and-so's, etc. 
But now, I'm okay with posting my stories and poems and not worrying (quite as much, anyway) about what others think. I still cringe every time I let a friend read a piece of work, and sometimes I hesitate letting others see my stories, especially longer ones (they're all my precious babies). But I've learned to not be afraid of getting bad feedback. 

2. Accountability

Okay, so I know I still don't have as many followers as some of y'all (working on it!), but even the few who read my posts help me out tremendously (even if they don't know it). I started doing monthly updates/highlights/goals, and having them out there where I have others seeing them keeps me on track and gives me motivation to complete these goals (no matter what they may be)!

3. Learning more about myself--and God

I don't have to elaborate much on this one! Writing posts relating to myself (personality, etc.) and the Lord have helped me just as much as I hope it helps any of you who have read them! 

And there you have it! To each and every one of you who has traveled with me on this journey so far (whether it be by comments, chats, follows)!!! I love y'all! <3

One last thing I wanted to add...

Some of you might not know why I decided to call my blog Living for the Other Side. Well, in my own words from my very first blog post:

You might be wondering why the title of my blog is Living for the Other Side. It is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll explain anyway. As Christians, we should be living our life here on earth in a way that will make it count once we cross over into the next life. We shouldn't have to look back on our life and wish we had done more to make a difference and tried harder to lead people to Christ. We need to be doing our best to fulfill God's purpose and plan for our lives. Let's live for the other side!

Here's to another year of blog posts, growing friendships, and writing! :D

~Livi Jane

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 2017 + (March Review)

HAPPY APRIL (Fool's Day)!!!!!!

Hope everyone has had a wonderfully amazing March. I did!!
(Still on a vacation high; we got back late last night.) *grin*

Anywho, again, I hope everyone's March was great, and today I'm here to share some highlights from my month! (Okay, more like the last week--our trip.)

March Highlights:
  • I read several books (one in particular) to which I was really looking forward. They were great! :D
  • Deep-cleaned my room (having a clean room is so nice!).
  • Celebrated my sister's birthday.
  • Entered Faith's Imagine This challenge.
Okay, so this section is going to be a lot of blabbering about our family trip to San Antonio, so if you'd wish to skip, well, I won't stop you. ;p

So we left a week ago today (Saturday), and drove down to SA. (For those of you who may not know/remember, we went to watch the filming for American Ninja Warrior (and my sister competed!!).) We checked into our hotel and several of us spent the evening over at the course, hanging out and watching the testers on the obstacles.

We slept in (to prepare ourselves for being up all night), and then went down to the Riverwalk. We took a boat tour (which was super fun) and walked around a few shops and passed by the Alamo. 
After changing and getting ready for the qualifying round of ANW San Antonio, a couple of us headed down the where the course was set up to check out the setup for lines and whatnot.
Course runs started at around 8:30 pm. So much fun!! 
My sister ran the course sometime around three in the morning (they film overnight). We're not allowed to say how anyone did until the episode airs, but it was so much fun and we're so proud of my sister! :D:D:D

Unfortunately, it started raining at five in the morning (before all of the runs were finished), so they ended up having to finish up for the night/morning. (The top thirty contestants from the qualifying round compete the next night for finals, so they just let the remaining fifteen runners who didn't run due to rain go first.) 
It was around seven-ish in the morning by the time some of us made it to bed (me included).
Most of the day was spent sleeping, and we headed back down to the course when we got up.
Finals night was just as fun and amazing as the first night! Once the filming was finished, we hung out with a couple of the competitor-friends, and then walked back to our hotel, and again, slept for a while! 

Once we all were up after another late night, we went visit the Alamo (something that I've always wanted to do). First we went to mall across the street and saw a movie about it (I believe it was called Alamo: Price of Freedom). It was informative and interesting (although very sad). 
Afterward, we headed down and walked around the actual Alamo. It was so cool/sad/crazy to think about how the places we walked were once filled with soldiers fighting!
Two of my sisters and I walked around the Riverwalk again while the rest of our family took our sister to the airport (she had to get home for work).

*Not my picture

Wednesday, we went to the Natural Bridge Caverns. The tour we took brought us 180 feet underground. It was so interesting! God's creation is really wonderful and awe-inspiring!!!

We went walk around several old missions the Spanish built for the natives. I love seeing old historical sights; it's really awesome how they preserved so much!

We packed up and headed out! My sisters and I drove separately, and we stopped to visit some family we have in Texas, and went to lunch with them. 
Finally (two traffic jams later), we made it home around 10:30 pm!!! We were all tired and sad that our vacation was over, but we were glad to be home! (And so were our dogs!!)

(Congrats to those of you who stuck with it and read the whole thing! ;P)


As I mentioned above in my highlights, I entered a little challenge hosted by Faith P. If any of you would like to check out my entry (plus the other two ladies who entered), click here. :D

I was skimming through a story I started sometime last year (never finished it because the plot makes zero sense), but I couldn't help but laugh at how snarky/sarcastic my characters are. A few random snippets are below:

A sudden, low growl caught his attention, and he gave the figure sprawled out next to him a shove.
“Quit it, Jase,” he hissed to his sound-asleep brother. “A body can't sleep with the sound of a steam engine rolling through.”
Even with the nudge from his brother, Jase didn't budge. The snoring didn't stop either. In fact, Blue thought it was getting louder by the second.
“Shut it already, Jase!” This time Blue kicked his brother in hopes of waking him. It worked.
Jase jerked to a sitting position. “What's wrong?”
“You!” Blue retorted. “Quit snorin’ so…”
He trailed off when the low rumbling didn't stop. Even through the dim light of morning, Blue saw Jase’s eyes widen.
“What was that?” he whispered.
“I don't know! I thought it was you!” Blue glanced about nervously.
“Well, it's not!”


Blue bristled at the title. “I have a name,” he snapped.
“Well, in that case,” Gray adjusted his glasses, “what is your name, son?”
“Jonathan Harper.” He practically spit the words out.
“Why, Mr. Harper, if I’m not mistaken, the other boy who was with you–your brother, I believe–called you Blue.”
“It’s a nickname. Friends call me that.”
“Very well.” Gray gave a nod. “I shall stick to Mr. Harper.”


Blue ignored the remark. “Are you okay?” he questioned worriedly. 
“Well, let's see. I got chased by a bear, punched by my brother and a psychotic man who thinks we’re with the FBI or somethin’, and tied up on the floor of a freezing cold cabin–all in one day. I'd say I'm okay.”


All right, on to goals! 

March Goals:
  • Write at least 3,000 words (I plan to make this happen. After all, I'll have an entire road trip later this month to write. Of course I'll get stuff done, right? Isn't that how it always goes?) Yes!!! I wrote approximately 5,000 words in March. And although I didn't get as much done on the road trip as I wanted, I still got stuff done. :) 
  • Read books! (So specific, I know... I plan to read a couple of biographies and an Uncle Eric book for school, plus there's like, a bunch of books I want to read...) Yes, I read books! :D One in particular (Rescuing Finley). I really enjoyed the few books I read. 
  • Actually comment on other blogs. XD Yeah, I think I did better with this! 
  • Finish my Chemistry (and very last high school science) course for school. Almost! I just have to take the last quarter test and I'm good!
  • Has lots of fun on the road trip (I'm sure I will)! ;) Oh yeah, you can bet on this one!
  • Continue reading the bible every day. Thankfully, even with the craziness of our trip, I kept up with this. :D
April Goals:
  • Write at least 3,000 words.
  • Organize my writings and figure out what project(s) on which I want/need to work.
  • Completely finish chemistry.
  • Register for Fine Arts.
  • Continue reading the bible every day.
That should complete my post today! Hope you all enjoyed. How was your March? For those of you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, what are your writing goals? Are you excited?
Anything exciting happening this April! Let me know! :D

Happy April!

~Livi Jane