Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

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Too Much Togetherness

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Hey everyone!  Summer is approaching quickly, and with summer comes a lot of time at home with your family.  You can do a lot of fun things with your family, but sometimes after spending so much time together things can get a little out of hand.  During the year when you go to school every day, you aren’t with your family 24/7.  When summer comes around, even if you aren’t with them every second of every day, you still spend a lot more time with them.  Being together so much can cause siblings to get on your nerves, arguing, and other ways of provoking and annoying.  When this happens, how can you honor God with your actions?  Here are some Bible verses to read for when you are fed up and need a breather:

Exodus 20:12                                                                                                                                                           “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land of the Lord.”                                              In the summer months you are spending more time with your parents as well as your siblings.  As you can tell by this verse, parental respect is very important to God!  We are all sinful, and we all sometimes get into arguments with our parents.  The next time this happens to you, remember this verse and be respectful, even if you are disagreeing with your parents.

Romans 12:5                                                                                                                                                           “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”                        When interacting with your family, remember that all of them are part of the body of Christ, all made in God’s image and loved by Him.  Treat them how God would love to see someone treat one of His children.

1 Corinthians 13:7                                                                                                                                                “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”                              We all love our families, and even though we love them we still sin by being rude, unkind, or annoying towards other family members.  In this verse it says that love endures all things.  Maybe your little brother is annoying you by kicking the back of your seat in the car, or running around the house yelling.  Maybe your older sister is making fun of you or bossing you around.  Instead of getting mad an yelling or telling your parents about it, ask them kindly to stop, and pray and ask God to give you patience and respect.

I hope these verses encouraged you!  Any time you get into an argument with a family member, look back at these verses and handle it respectfully.

What are you looking forward to this summer?  Comment below!

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How To Be Well Prepared For Tests

Hey guys!  I thought I would do another school related post today, since I haven’t done one in a while.  Taking tests at school is something we all have to do, whether we like it or not.  I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time I want to get good grades on my tests, but I don’t want to have to do extra work to prepare for them.  Sound familiar?  Unfortunately, we can’t just magically ace all our tests (wouldn’t that be amazing), we have to be confident in the material and show that we’ve learned something.  But what if you’re nervous that there will be something on the test you aren’t prepared for?  You want to study, but you don’t know where to start?  Here are some ideas to get you going:

1.  Ask Questions.                                                                                                                                                    If you are unsure how to do that math problem, or you don’t know what phenotype means in science class (a personal question I have), your teacher is there for you to ask them questions.  They won’t think you’re dumb if you ask them something, they will only think better of you for having the integrity and courage to do so.  If you don’t feel comfortable asking in front of the whole class, ask the teacher personally before you leave.  Chances are you won’t do well on the test if you have unanswered questions beforehand.

2.  Do The Homework.                                                                                                                                          This one seems pretty obvious and straightforward, but its the pure truth: if you don’t do the homework the teacher gives you, how will you know everything you need to know?  Teachers do not give homework to torture the students- it is a way for you to learn more and get more practice doing the material.

3.  Repetition Is A Good Way To Stick Things In Your Brain.                                                                       Flashcards or something of the sort are very helpful for me when it comes to tests.  When I need to know vocabulary words, I make digital flashcards on Quizlet, a free app that is SO helpful for studying.  You can take mini tests, match the word and definition in a matching game, or use the flashcards they make for you.  Also having someone like your mom or dad quiz you is great practice.

4.  Don’t Procrastinate Or Cram Five Minutes Before Class.                                                                       I have done this before, and believe me, you may remember a few of the things you crammed in your brain two minutes prior to the test, but being well prepared the night before will produce much better results.  Don’t wait until the day of the test to go over the review or ask others for their notes.  Study the night before, get some good sleep, and be ready and prepared when you arrive at school.

I hope these tips can be helpful for you in the future.  Comment below some of your strategies for doing your best on tests!

 

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What Makes a Good Friend?

Hey everyone!  It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and Valentine’s Day is a great time to talk about love and friendship.  How can you be a good friend?  How do you love others the way God intends?  I found a few Bible verses to share on this topic:

Luke 6:31  “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”                                         We’ve all heard it before- it’s the golden rule!  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  If you want to make some new friends, simple kindness is the first step.  If you want to build better relationships with old friends, the same thing applies.

Proverbs 17:17  “A friend loves at all times.”                                                                                                                  Being a true friend means you stick by them all the time, no matter the circumstances.  People will want to be friends with you if they know you will be looking out for them.  The person you are best friends with is the person you can rely on to be there for you, right?  Make an effort to do the same for them.

Proverbs 27:17  “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”                                             This is metaphorical, of course.  It’s meaning that friends are so insightful and can help shape you into what God wants you to be.  They can encourage you and guide you along the road God has set for you.

God values friendship a lot, and He wants you to be close with more of His children.  He wants you to make other Christian friends so that you can worship Him together, but also reach out to those who don’t yet know Him.  This gives you a chance to show His love to others.  Make this your goal this Valentine’s Day- to be kind to others and love what God loves- which is all His children!

Psssssstt:  Hey guys!  If you like reading my blog, tell others about it!  Let’s get more readers!  If you haven’t already, subscribe to get emails every time I post something new!

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Dealing With: Stress

Picture this:  You walk into the first day of school, ready to see all your friends and ready to learn some fun, new stuff.  You go to your first class and love your new teacher.  You think she has an effective, fun way of teaching and you are so excited to have her all year.  The end of class approaches, and the teacher gives the class an assignment due the next day.  That’s right.  Homework.  You didn’t think you would get homework on the first day of school.  But, as you go to each class and your homework load piles up, you realize you were wrong.

If you struggle with homework and stress, first check out my post Getting Homework Done for practical homework tips.  Those tips might help you with the routine of homework, but what about stress?

The dictionary definition of stress is: “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”  Doing homework can be a demanding circumstance.  You might encounter other demanding circumstances, like an important sports game or musical performance.  Other demanding circumstances could include going to a new school, handling hard stuff in your family, or dealing with the day to day challenges of being a teenager.

Now that you know what stress is, how can you keep it under control?  Let’s see what the Bible says:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”     John 14:27

God is giving you peace, not stress.  If you pray when something is hard or challenging, if you pray that God will give you peace of mind, you can rest assured that He will.  You don’t have to be fearful of your homework load.  God will not give you more than you can handle.  Trust Him to help you handle it.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”     Proverbs 16:3

Do everything to the glory of God.  Don’t worry about being perfect and getting perfect grades or being the best on the soccer team.  Do these things to God’s glory and you will not have to stress about being “the best.”

“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.”     Psalm 119:143

Read the Bible.  Let God’s Word fill you and listen to where God wants you to go.  In your trouble or stress, be delighted in God’s plans.  You don’t need to worry about being perfect.  Accept challenges with God’s perfect plan in mind, that He will lead you and guide you all the way through.

So, the next time you march into school with confidence and walk out biting your nails, open your Bible or pray that God would give you peace in His perfect plan.

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Hey Everyone!  What questions do you have about me or this blog?  If you have anything you’re wondering about, ask me in the Comments section. I’d like to do a Q&A post in the near future, and I need your questions.  Ask as many as you want.  I would love to answer them!  P.S. I read all the comments before posting them to the site.  If you would like to ask me questions but you don’t want them to appear on the blog (I understand), comment anyway and indicate that you would like your question answered anonymously.  I will read it and use the question in the Q&A but I will keep it anonymous.  You can also email me your questions here: emma@appletreesandpumpkinseeds.com

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A Guide to L.I.V.I.N.G. this Summer

It’s summer!  I’m so excited to be able to post more often now that school’s out, and I have a few ideas for posts that I’m really excited about.  I know most of you have fun trips, camps, and activities planned, but what about those days when you have nothing to do?  I have put together a list of some things to get you started on  ideas for summer fun.  It is the acronym L.I.V.I.N.G.  We want to live this summer to the fullest, and make it memorable.               So here it is:

L – Learn something new.                                                                                                                                     Teach yourself to do something you’ve never done before or learn about something you’re interested in.

I – Invite a friend over.                                                                                                                                        Have a friend over to watch a movie, play games, and just have fun.  (You could also do your summer homework together……………………just an idea) 😉

V – Visit a relative.                                                                                                                                                           Grandparents have a lot of cool stories, believe it or not.

I – ICE CREAM.                                                                                                                                                              Always an option to consider.

N – Navigate your way on a road trip.                                                                                                               Take a mini day trip to a nearby city and find something fun to do there with family or friends.

G – Go to church.                                                                                                                                                           Keep going to church this summer.  Build your relationship with God.  Now that you’re not in school, you can spend more time with the Lord.

I hope this acronym will give you ideas for some fun things to do this summer.  Each letter is pretty general so you can find your own way to expand on them.

Ok, here are a few things you can do after you finish reading this:                                                       1.  Go tell someone else about this blog and get them interested.

2.  Comment about what you are looking forward to this summer.

3.  Email me with any posts you would like to see happen in the future at this email: emma@appletreesandpumpkinseeds.com.  Also, email me if you would like to be a guest blogger in the near future.

 

Dealing With: Disappointment

Disappointment.  The dictionary definition is, “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.”  Disappointment can come in many shapes and sizes, whether it’s not making the track team you really wanted to be on, or simply not getting what you want.  When we’re little, like toddler age, we tend to deal with disappointment by throwing a temper tantrum.  A kid doesn’t get the piece of candy from the birthday piñata that he wanted, so he flips out.  We’ve all seen it, right?  Now that you’re past that stage, how do you deal with disappointment?  It could be that you get super upset and sulk and hole up in you room all day. It could also be that you blame others for what you didn’t get, whether it be the teacher who didn’t give you the part you wanted in the school play, or it could be a grudge against the person who did get the part.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)  God has mapped out a plan for your life, which may not be the plans you yourself have.  Knowing this, we will still have disappointment in our lives.  Here are a few ways to deal with disappointment:

1. Get a different perspective.  You’re not fast enough for the track team, but at least you CAN run.  You don’t get into your first choice college, but at least you have enough money to GO to college.  Think of it in the bigger picture.  If you have a goal, work hard to reach it.  If you don’t make it, keep going and make a new goal for yourself.

2.  Pray about it.  Ask God for perseverance and His guidance in your life.  If something disappoints you, don’t shut Him off; pray more!

3.  Read what the Bible has to say.  Here are a few verses to look up in your Bible: Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:6-7, Psalms 27:14

Disappointment can be a hard thing to overcome, but we can know that the Lord is watching over us!  Lift your eyes to the Lord and let all your worries, disappointment and sin rest on Him. God has a future for you, even though it might not be the one you’re expecting.

Did you like this post?  Comment below about other “Dealing With” posts you want me to write about!

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Getting Homework Done

So we’ve covered waking up on time (see Wake Up Call), and I think it’s time for more school-related advice.  This time, let’s chat about homework.  Some days it may literally seem like you’re swamped with homework, like in the movies when somebody goes to the library to study, and you can’t even see them because they’re surrounded by so many books.  Yeah, that’s exactly how you may feel sometimes.  But, never fear!  Here are some tips on getting it done and out of the way:

– Write your homework down.  I know that some schools give their students agendas at the beginning of the year.  If your school does that, then use it.  If not, it’s easy to find everyday planners or agendas at places like Target or Walmart.  You can buy an agenda (which is what I would do since it’s nice and organized) or you can have a special place in one of your notebooks or binders to write down your homework.  It’s easy to be like, “Oh, I’ll just keep all this homework information up here in my brain”, but, if you get even a decent amount of homework each week, this plan is bound to fail one day.

– Plan out your homework week.  This is helpful for me when I have long-term projects.  To get it all done, plan what days of the week you want to work on it.  Don’t plan to work on your long-term project on a day when you have a bunch of after school activities, because then you will never get it done.

– Prioritize.  If you have something for homework that’s due the next day, do it first before the assignment due next week.  Also, if you have a day with no next-day assignments, don’t go home and watch TV all afternoon.  Get started on a long-term project.  It’s always better to get those kind of assignments done as early as possible to avoid rushing at the end.  Getting started early will also give you more time to do a better job on it and possibly get a better grade.

– Ask questions.  Pay attention in class so it doesn’t take you hours to do the homework assignment that should only take 20 minutes.  Even if you did listen in class, and then you get home and still don’t understand it, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Call a friend or email a teacher with questions.  There is always someone who can help you.

I hope this was a helpful and inspiring post about homework!  Comment below about your method of getting homework done.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Wake Up Call

It’s a Monday morning, ______am, (fill in whatever time you wake up).  You have planned what you’re going to wear (at least if you are a girl) and you’ve done your homework.  Now here’s the hardest part of the morning, at least for me: WAKING UP.  Especially on Mondays.  God wants us to reflect Himself and show off His amazing creation through us, so we need to be awake and alert.  But why does it have to be so hard?!?!  For my school I don’t have to get up at like 4am, but it’s still hard, no matter what.  Here are a few tips to getting up and starting fresh and on time on a school morning:

Don’t go to bed extremely late if you can help it.                                                                                        If it’s homework that’s keeping you up, it’s either time to turn off your procrastination switch, or sorry, you just have a lot of homework.  If homework is not a problem, then I would say bedtime should be 10 to 10:30 at the latest, depending on your morning schedule (This only applies to school nights, people).

Set your alarm clock.                                                                                                                                   What I like to do is set my alarm clock to radio so you don’t wake up to that obnoxious beeper.  I also suggest not setting it to a pop or rock station because that might blast you out of bed.  Listen to music that will put you in a good mood.  Make sure to set your alarm early enough to get yourself ready and eat.  Showering in the morning is a good idea if you have a really hard time getting awake.  If you need to get up super duper early, skip the shower and take one the night before.

Pick out your outfit the night before.                                                                                                             I’m talking to you, ladies.  If you wear a uniform, great.  You’ve already shaved 10 minutes off your morning routine.  This strategy is helpful because that extra time that you usually spend digging through the laundry basket or stressing over what to wear you can spend sleeping.

Put away distractions.                                                                                                                                       Don’t stay up too late on your phone.  Also, don’t immediately check it the minute you get up.  You could lose track of time and be late for school.  Get yourself all ready first.

These tips will help you to get a better start each day.  Your alertness and great attitude will show others that you are passionate to see what God has in store for you.  And who knows?  You could really inspire someone.

Comment below about your wake up strategies.