New Beginnings!

To all my blog followers, please follow my NEW BLOG: Joys My Middle Name!

There have been some new changes, please watch this YouTube video to understand why I will no longer be going by Anna Gold. Thank you for all your support!

 

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8 months later…

I saw a quote today and it summarized how I have been feeling all summer.

“Someday you’ll be really, really grateful that God gave you what you needed instead of what you thought you wanted.”

As much of a lull I have been in, I am grateful.
All of the sudden I don’t even know what I want, but I am trusting God for what I need.

Let me give you a little backstory as to why I have been pretty absent the past six months.
I haven’t blogged as much as I thought I would, and my YouTube channel is struggling.
I want my fans, followers, and subscribers to know why.

I’ve changed. For the better.

(This is kind of hard to say.)

So, this winter I auditioned for The Voice. It was honestly a dream come true (and before you think I made it to LA, I didn’t. I got to the Private Auditions; the ones that decide if you go to the Blind Auditions in LA or not.) I stood in the audition room, and did my best.
They gave me great reviews and told me to come back.
I cried on the way home.

Then something changed. Not all at once. It was a process. I gave up my dream…gave it up to God that is. I don’t believe you should ever give anything up just because it is hard, I think you should always try to pursue your dreams. But if your dreams change, it’s okay.
Thirteen year old me would hate seventeen year old me.

How dare you give up on our dream? She would say.
This was it. That was the moment you waited for since you were 9!! She would desperately argue.

And I would say, “it’s going to be okay.”

I look back on my journal entry from the night before my audition, and after the page and a half of excitement filled nerves and hopeful prayers.
There’s one sentence on the next page that is so comforting 8 months later.

“A drop of rain is never a hurricane, you’ll be okay.”
IMG_7276
A reminder God knew I would need.

I got upset because why would God open the door and let me see this incredible opportunity, then close it? It felt more like a distraction than an opportunity.
The whole process of auditioning I kept telling my parents,
“I feel like this is a thing in my life, but maybe it’s not the thing.”

I think in 8 short months,  I’ve grown up. (Just a little bit.)
My childhood dream of being famous has shifted and changed. (I mean if it happens, that’s cool. If it doesn’t happen that’s okay too.) To be honest, last year…I had no plan B. It was make it, or life is ruined. haha.
It was hard because I thought I was just giving up. Truth is, it’s been an answer to prayers.
For 2016, my prayer has been that God would make the desires of my heart His desire for my life, and His plan.
Before my audition, my sister gave me a ring that says, “tune my heart”. It’s from the hymn, Come Thou Fount. She said that her prayer for me was that God would continually tune my heart towards Him. That prayer was answered in a different way than I anticipated. I was expecting it to be a reminder of God’s goodness while I was busy living my new found carrier. (Or something like that.)
Instead, God has literally been re-tuning, and fine tuning me. He has been redirecting me.

I still don’t 100% know what I want to do now. All I know is that no matter what happens, I will be happy because I truly believe that if I keep going where I’m going, it’s going to be God’s plan for me. Something just feels right.

January-April, I felt so drained. I couldn’t give up my dream. I had to fulfill it because of all the promises I made to 12 year old me. I felt so unsatisfied, and desperate.
Until I gave it up. (I cried again).

But I felt such a release.

This might not completely explain why I have been absent from blogging/Youtube.
Um, I just haven’t had the same drive I used to have. I worked hard at it last year because it was my dream to be noticed and to be heard. Now that I have been noticed and heard, I realize that it doesn’t give me the same feeling I thought it would.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly thankful for my 150 subscribers. I have made so many good friends through doing this whole thing. In the process I have learned so much.
I am so grateful and thankful for everything God has given me and is showing me.

I have days where I want to be a published, famous author.
Then other days I just want to graduate college, get married, and live a quiet life.
I still am trying to figure everything out, like I said, I don’t know what I want to do.
All I know is that, what I wanted to do before wasn’t what God wanted me to do.
And maybe He has something similar to that planned, but I cannot do it in my strength and make things work when I think they should. It’s His strength, and His timing.

I haven’t been focused on filming YouTube covers and writing blog posts, because I am focusing on other things right now. I start my senior year of highschool in a few weeks, and with that comes prep for college. And for once in my life, I am SO excited about college.
(Again, thirteen year old me would be crying right now.) Youtube used not to feel like a lot of work. But now I honestly don’t feel like filming and editing. I don’t feel like keeping everyone updated all the time. It’s just not me anymore. I am not saying I am quitting YouTube, but it won’t be as often as before. Maybe I will hit a new burst of inspiration and post a ton. I am basically releasing myself from the pressure of trying to keep everyone happy, and just giving you a heads up.
Basically,  a year ago, anytime I would post something I waited to see how many likes, comments and shares it would get. I was expecting something to go viral at some point. Because I thought that would be the definition of “making it”.Now, I don’t mind if something gets one view. I want to do it because it’s fun, not because I feel the need to “make it”. No matter what happens I will make it to where God needs me to be. I think God was waiting for me to realize this before the next chapter of life begins, and now I know. Now when I post it will be because I want to, not because I feel I need to.

I love you all so much. I am so grateful for all of you.

But I am also grateful that God has shown me that what I thought I wanted, isn’t what I needed. And if it’s not what you needed, chances are it’s not from God.
If it’s not from God, it will leave you unsatisfied and drained.

8 months later…

I am not where I thought I would be. I am not who I thought I would be.
But to be honest, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.
I wouldn’t want to be anyone else because I love who God is making me to be.

I just wanted to remind you, that just because life isn’t  working out the way you thought it would, doesn’t mean it’s not working out. It’s okay for dreams to change, it’s not you giving up, it’s God giving you something better.

How to Study the Bible (and understand it)

COVEr

There are many different ways to read and study the bible, there’s not really any right or wrong way to do it. I am writing this blog post in hopes to give you some new ideas on how to study God’s word.
If you’re a new Christian and you don’t know where to begin then I hope this can give you some idea of where to begin. If you’re a Christian that is just needing to do something different and new, then hopefully you can apply these methods to your already existing bible study, or perhaps start something new. Either way, maybe this can help you!

ONE: Keep a notebook.

First and foremost, I highly recommend that you keep a journal or notebook solely for the purpose of devotions and bible study. You do not have to be an eloquent writer to keep a simple devotion-centered journal. Don’t be intimated by other people’s well organized bible study binders (I know they look awesome, they’re kind of goals…but keep it simple.)
Recently the best method I have discovered is just writing down the bible verses (or chapters) that I have read. Writing them down helps you perceive what is being said and can help you remember what you read.

If you don’t know what to write down or say, then I recommend this simply method: the S.O.A.P. bible study.

Scripture
Observation
Application
Pray

When I was about 9 or 10 I started wanting to get serious about my devotions but didn’t know how to do that. So my mom taught me this simple method.
Basically you take a verse or chapter of Scripture, you write it down.
You write an Observation about it, what is it saying? What does it mean? Etc.
Then you write down how it Applies to you.
Then you write a Prayer, asking God to help you understand his word, keep his word, and allow him to apply it into your life. (Or something along those lines.)

This simple method gets you into a habit of how to think about scriptures. How to apply them to your life. It helps you break it down and comprehend it, and understand how to study the bible.

Now I don’t really follow the exact “S.O.A.P.” method anymore, I usually will write out a few verses and write out my thoughts. But growing up using that method helped me learn how to break down verses and comprehend them and think about them.

TWO: use a dictionary.

Yes, a dictionary.

Someone recently asked me what I recommended for devotions or bible study, and the first thing that popped in my head is something I have been doing for quiet sometime: looking up words.
Anytime I see a word that I know, I want to understand it. There are reasons different words are used in certain places. How are you supposed to apply God’s word to your life if you don’t understand it?
I was reading Proverbs 2, and one word really stuck out to me in verse ten.
“When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you, to deliver you from the way of evil.”

Discretion. It’s an interesting thing to preserve me. So I looked up its meaning. It means:

 “the power or right to decide or act according to one’s own judgment or choice.”

And all of the sudden, it made sense. When we have God’s wisdom within us, the choices and decisions we make are a reflection of that wisdom. Because our thoughts will be God-centered as we pursue His will. Of course you wouldn’t make stupid decisions that would lead to evil, because you would have God’s wisdom guiding you. Make sense?

It just goes to show that there is so much more to scripture than we can truly comprehend. But don’t allow little or big words keep you from understanding what God is saying.

(If you use the “S.O.A.P. method, this is a great thing to apply to the “observation” section!) 
THREE: reference verses are your friend.

 

When I was little I didn’t understand what those little verses were under the main verses I was reading. Then I discovered that what I was reading tied into other verses somewhere else in the bible. (It’s like God planned it that way or something. Haha.) Things somehow become more powerful and meaningful when you realize that what Jesus says was a fulfillment of something else that had already happened, or that one person talking about hope ties into what someone else said about hope.

For example:

Ephesians 6:18 says, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” 

Under that verse was a reference verse to Luke 18:1. Which says, “Then He (Jesus) spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…” (Then the chapter continues on with the parable.

See how awesome that is though? It puts new perspective or idea to verses that you might look over. And helps you understand why it was said.
F O UR: Keep it simple.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you only focus on one verse a day, that’s okay. Read it until you understand it. Break it down, and comprehend it.
Sometimes I will spend days on just one chapter of scripture. There is so much to each verse and each word, there’s no way I could understand it if I just read it and moved on.

I hope these four simple ideas help you and inspire you in some way.
No matter how you study God’s word and pursue Him, always make sure it is with your whole heart. 🙂

Have a fantastic day,
Anna

Feel free to share this post with your friends, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook, and Tweet about! If you use any of these methods or tips tell me about it; tag me on Instagram: @AnnaGoldMusic and use #UnderstandingGodsTruth 🙂

(Also, you can follow me on Pinterest, I pin about journaling and bible study from other people that might give you more ideas and inspiration.)

Sink or Swim

I can often find myself listening to a worship song or reading a Bible verse and I think it’s so deep, true, or powerful. But often times we lose the meaning of the important statements and directions as we look to it as a cliche, or the same old words we grew up hearing.

One particular song I have loved since it came out but didn’t fully grasp what I was singing is, ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong United. Have you listened to the lyrics? Like seriously listened to them? I know, I know…worship songs all start sounding the same and repeating themselves, but they still have such incredible importance on us.
Let’s look to the bridge of ‘Oceans’…

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters where ever you will call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my savior.”

I have had to make some pretty big life decisions this past year. I think we’ve all faced a season in our lives that we go before God and give Him our goals and dreams, our job situations, our relationships, ourselves…and we surrender. We usually hate it.
I know I did, I wanted to be in control. And  yet here I was, sitting on my bedroom floor crying, because I realized I have no idea what I am doing. I needed God.
So I gave him my dream and opportunity with no promise of something better, other than people telling me I could trust God.
The next day I spent some time worshiping, I found myself singing the bridge of ‘Oceans’ over and over, and over again…and it clicked.

For years I happily lead this song at Church and listened to it on repeat, and after all those years of singing “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…” there I was. Standing in the midst of crashing waves.

So many times I hear Christians talking about sacrifice and trials, but the moment God throws them overboard they’re just like, “lol, just kidding!!”

But it’s in these moments you learn the most about your faith.

God will either split the sea, or teach you to walk on the waves, or he will teach you to swim.

Don’t compare what he does in your life to what he does in other people’s lives.
He will teach you to do what he needs you to do, he will bring you through situations he needs you to learn from.

Just because he hasn’t split the sea doesn’t mean your faith is weak.
You’re swimming, not sinking.
There’s a difference.

 

Rise to Fall

I got up today.
I got my coffee, scrolled through Twitter and Facebook.
Between  the clickbait and political arguments came a flood of smiling faces at barbecues and pool parties. I wanted to post something about thanking the soldiers that have given their lives so naturally I googled,”Memorial Day” expecting to see patriotic quotes and thanksgiving for the falling, I was greeted instead by Rice Crispy treats decorated to look like American flags, and how to decorate for your party and BBQ.

Welcome to America.

This is a country I love dearly, from coast to coast, from the grandest of canyons to the smallest of rivers, north to south. This is my home.

It is my home because for the hundreds of years people have been calling themselves “Americans” there were the few and brave that called themselves, “soldiers”.

Soldiers either come home as veterans, or they don’t come home at all.

To the ones that died without the comfort of their loved ones, to the ones who had nothing to lose. To the unknown fallen, I promise you have not been forgotten.

I got up today.
I get to have an education.
I get to dream of my future.
I get have a voice.
I get to vote (once I am old enough!).
I have freedom.
I was able to rise because of the fallen.

And I have the privilege to say thank you.

I know a lot of people are having a fun day off today, and yes, you have the freedom to do so! I wish I could be at a BBQ instead of taking a history test today…but in the midst of whatever it is that you are dong. Please take a moment to remember those that gave you these freedoms. (And in case you’re confused, Memorial Day is remembering those that died for our country, and Veteran’s Day is for those that served our country,it’s okay, I get confused sometimes, too. Now if I could just figure out what Labor Day is about I would be set.) 😉

Remember that you are able to get up everyday because of the fallen.

I hope you have a lovely day, God bless.

Wattpad & Whatnot

Hello!

So I know I wrote a little bit ago about posting a bit of my book. And in my post I said,
“In a few days…” I might have lied…not on purpose.
But life went by all too quickly and now I find myself with a Wattpad account, 4k words to write, and lots of homework to do.

So, look for a sneak-peek of my book coming the first or second week of May. I would like to finish NaNoWriMo then edit the little bit that I have before showing it to you.
You will be most-likely be reading the prologue and first chapter of my book.
Once you read that prologue, much more of my book will be revealed hopefully leaving you like, “Whhhhaaat!?”

So you can follow me on Wattpad clicking HERE.
I joined Wattpad last summer, but never did ANYTHING with it. I am still trying to figure things out, so can someone let me know if non-Wattpad users can still read someones story on Wattpad? If not, I can also post my story on here. So let me know. 🙂

So a little bit of an update on my life, (the “whatnot” portion of this post)…

School is haunting me like a little annoying ghost. Which is my own fault, I could have been wrapping things up in a few weeks…but I am a procrastinator and someone who slacks off unless someone is there like, “GET YOUR WORK DONE.”
Otherwise, you will find me creating  something rather than problem solving.

And I also have not found time to make more YouTube videos. 😦
But, once this school thing is over, I promise there shall be more. *yay*
I have so many video ideas and blog posts I want to share I feel as thought my head will burst!

That is basically all, except the fact that I am also Maid of Honor for my brother’s fiance…aka my soon to be sister-in-law. And if you have ever been there, you know there is so much to think about, do and finalize.

So, I know summer seems so far away…but when it arrives I am hoping to do so much for my readers, viewers, and followers. You all seriously mean so much to me. *hugs*

Okay, that is all. Have a great day. 

(Originally I had my book cover design on here, but that was before I realized I mis-spelled my book title… Good job, Anna.)

NaNoWriMo & Book Preview!

Hey everyone,

I feel nervous…I am nervous. WHY? I am going to be releasing a sneak-preview of my novel that I am currently working on. (*screams*)

If you have followed me on twitter or have been consistent with reading my blog, you will know that I have been writing a novel. That word is rather terrifying, n o v e l.

And if you have been following me since I started talking about it back in November, you might have been wondering, “When is this chick going to let us know what her book is about?”

And this is the day my friends, this is my first time talking about my book on my blog and into this universe. It is still unfinished and my goal is to have it complete and ready by this fall for the public to read.  (It’s going to need a lot of editing, I am sure of it.)
BUT, I will be releasing  a little sneak preview of it right here on my blog. (Or do you all think I should post on Wattpad or something like that? Let me know.)

So what is this book? *clears throat*.
It takes place in 1871, North America. After the Civil War there were still many conflicts arising and many secrets hidden. The country was rebuilding but at the expense of others.
Two families come together through an arranged marriage, but that is just the beginning of everything falling apart. Enter my protagonists, Rachel Willows and James Briggs. *yay* I am really bad at talking about my book…um…basically, my goal of this book is to show the prejudice that still remained after the war. I want to show the contrast of the upper and lower class of the time. Rachel Willows is the daughter of an upper class business man. James Briggs is a newly graduated medical school student.
Both have secrets and broken hearts…and all shall be revealed soon.
I don’t know how much I want to tell you, there are a lot that I don’t want to be revealed until you lovely people read it… but I want to say enough for you to want to read it. (The struggle.)
The title of the book? The Act of Convenience.
By? Me…duh. haha.

I cannot wait until the day it is finished and I sit here writing you that it is being published (most likely self-published). But look for a sneak preview in a few days. *ah*

Most importantly, have a fantastic day! 🙂

A Few Thoughts on Thinking

I was standing in my kitchen waiting for my coffee to be reheated.
The longest 30 seconds you have are while the microwave is on.
I did not allow those precious seconds to go to waste, because as the timer was ticking down and the seconds slipped by bringing me closer to my warm mug of happiness…a terrifying thought crossed my mind…
If the world could hear every thought you had, what would they hear?
If every thought and desire was made known to the world, how would that make you feel?
Because for me it makes me uncomfortable and self-conscious. I have thought some not so nice things about myself and others. There have been times that I have allowed the enemy to put lies into my mind, and tempt me. I know I would be judged by people just for what I have thought, and if I knew for one day that the world was watching me, I would want to change.

The funny thing is, is that the thought of the world judging me if they could read my mind makes me want to change more than the fact that God actually does see my actions and knows my thoughts.

Still uncomfortable? You should be. 

I think somewhere in our lives we lost the fear of the Lord and forgot to remember that God is watching us. And just as much as we wouldn’t want the world to judge us, we should be striving to please God. We need to remain in the idea that yes, God is merciful. And no, what the world says does not compare to the fact that God could judge us. 

And now, what if I told you that eventually the world will see what you do?
Because eventually the things you think and the thoughts that you consume and hide within you eventually break through in your attitude and actions.
Something to keep in mind is that you are what you think.

Truth is, the world is watching. They are waiting to see what makes you do what you do, what makes you different, and some people are waiting for you to mess up.
They might only be able to see your outward actions, but God is there keeping our thoughts in check.
What the world is going to see is more than posting a bible verse on social media or going to church every week, your actions do not define you, your thoughts define your actions.

This Moment

A moment is defined in the dictionary as a brief period of time.

We have this occur in our hesitations and decisions, at a moment’s notice we are doing something crazy or backing down from something we thought we really wanted to do.
No matter what you do, these moments add up to this little thing called life. 

It is funny how caught up we become in these moments.
If you don’t make the right choice what will happen?
What if I do this then another opportunity will not occur again?

These questions run wild in our minds.
But it is just a brief period of time. It’s not going to last forever.

This winter I auditioned for season 11 of NBC’s ‘The Voice’.
In the moment before walking in the room, I thought that I had to make it or else…
but then in that same moment I had a peace that no matter what I would be okay.
No, I did not make it onto the show (and I am okay with that).
That audition is now just a memory, a moment I will never forget…but just the same it is just a moment of my life. It doesn’t define who I am, it only changed where I went.
Because hey, now I get to spend my summer at home and not filming a show.
And since I have that “freedom” I have become more focused on my relationship with Christ, I have started making more videos for my second channel. Which in all honesty, is more important to me. I know get to spend time writing and singing, and really getting to know my readers and viewers better. 🙂 (Aka my friends+fans=frands. It’s a thing now, haha). And who knows, maybe God has a different and better plan for me.

No, that moment didn’t go the way I had hoped it would. But the next moment of relief and peace was better. I can’t focus on the “what if I did make it?” or “what if I would have sang a different song?”

Matthew 6:31-33 says,
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I had a brief moment of tears. Then I got back up.

I don’t want this post to be about me….so…

I want to encourage you to not let little moments get in the way of your life.
Every action has a reaction, so even you saying “no” to something could be the best thing you ever do. Don’t worry and don’t stress, God’s got you. He loves you, he has a plan for you. Life will be built on these moments, and times of unknowing. But that’s the beauty of it all.

You shouldn’t be worrying about tomorrow or the next day…what you should be doing is living in this moment.
Have faith not fear for tomorrow, because today?
Well today God has you where he needs you for this moment.

The Planting | Bloom Series

bloom

When springtime comes around I think of flowers blooming and new growth of grass and leaves. And in the same way, I think about my life as a Christian.
In this blog series we are going to be looking at three things:
planting, growing, and blooming.
In this blog post we are looking at two different kinds of planting. 

When you are caught up in life, reading your bible, and praying become somewhat routine. You don’t exactly feel like you are learning anything.  Sometimes you look for a fresh-start by looking to the future.  I cannot tell you how many times I have sat looking a bible devotional and thinking, “Eh, I can start it tomorrow.”

You know what people say, ” There is no better time than the present.”

What better time that now to invest and sow into your heart God’s word?
The only way a flower can grow and bloom is if the seed is planted.

Psalm 119:11 says,

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

When you take a seed, you hide it in the dirt. It is the only way that a flower can grow and bloom. I look at other Christians and sometimes wish I could be more like them, they have this crazy energy, they are happy,  compassionate. To me- that is the flower of what they have planted inside them. But you can’t have a flower just like *that*, you have to invest, and wait. You can’t have a garden, without planting some seeds.

“Stop and smell the roses”

Life will never get to point B if you’re not invested in point A.
Enjoy your life while you are working towards your goals. Whether your goal is to be a better Christian, a better student, artist, writer… you enjoy each step with God instead of running ahead of yourself. While you are working towards your dreams & goals, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the now. You will never have this moment again.

You are in the process of building a foundation for your future.
A plant is only as strong as it’s root system. (It’s basic botany here.)
A building can only stand because it is essentially rooted in the ground, and has a strong foundation. You can’t run to the top without starting at the first step.

Take this time in your life to plant and invest who you are in Christ.