Exploring Classic British Literature

My Adventures Through Classic British Books


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What is The Fellowship of the Ring About?

As you begin to read this book be prepared to go on one of the biggest and greatest adventures in all of literature!
In it you will meet valiant hobbits, great kings of old, beautiful elves, brave dwarfs, and a courageous fellowship of friends who are on a quest to save their world from evil and destruction.
This “The Fellowship of the Ring” is the first of three books in the Lord of the Rings series and it tells the story of a hobbit, named Frodo, who inherits a dangerous and powerful ring from his Uncle, Bilbo Baggins. When Frodo first receives the ring he has no idea what bearing it will cost him or how it will change his life forever.
Frodo’s friend, Gandalf the Gray, a kind and wise wizard warns him about the ring and about the Dark Lord who made it and will do anything to get it back. Already he has dangerous spies on the loose who are searching for the ring for him. Frodo must leave the shire and flee with the ring. But he is not alone his friends Sam, Merry and Pippin won’t leave him!
Together they go through many dangers and strange adventures. Then one night at a inn the town of Bree they meet a man like none they have ever seen before. Aragorn, son of Arathorn. A tall man with bright blue-gray eyes, dark hair and beard flecked with gray. A face both stern and kind, and a manner of leadership and bravery. He takes the hobbits into his care and brings them to the elegant city of Rivendell where the high King of the elves, Lord Elrond calls together a council to figure out how to get the destroyed before it is captured and all the world taken over. There is a big problem though.The ring can only be destroyed in the fires where it was first forged, in the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom. No one else dares to go. That is except Frodo. He is scared but he knows what he must do. “I will take the ring.” He says. “Though I do not know the way.”
His courage strengthens everyone in the council. He will not have to go alone. Gandalf steps up immediately to help him, Aragorn offers him protection with his sword, Legolas, an elven prince, gives Frodo protection with his bow, Gimli the dwarf gives him protection with his axe, Boromir of Gondor also offers his help, and Sam, Merry, Pippin refuse to be left behind. And so begins the journey of the Fellowship of the Ring. Together they must journey over cold mountains, through dark mines, in beautiful Elven forests, and down long rivers.
Why I Liked this Book So Much:

When I first began this book I was immediately intrigued by the story and read through it really fast as one page after another the story grew. It is very well written and the story is complex, fascinating, exciting, beautiful and filled with many important lessons and themes about friendship, sacrifice, love, and about the grief of greed and the danger and sin of lust for power.
Fantasy, I believe, is one of the most difficult genres of literature to write really well. But Tolkien has done a brilliant job in this book of not straying too far from reality even in the midst of fantasy. The story is amazing and good, the heroes are men of courage, honor, valor, loyalty and moral character. The story also grasps the human emotions we all feel and struggles that many have gone through. It makes me laugh, cry, and smile and challenges me to look beyond the here and now to what may lay ahead in my own life.
In essence it the story of a small, seemingly insignificant hobbit who is given an overwhelming task to do that the fate of his world rests on. But he and his friends will see it to the end no matter what!
I think that this quote from the book sums it all up very well: “All we must decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”~Gandalf.
This will forever one of my favorite books! ~Anna


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I Went on an Adventure…

…That’s my explanation that I have to give for being so long gone from this blog and then suddenly making this unexpected post today. To any of my followers who may be reading this, so sorry for the delay in new posts! I will be putting more up soon though and hopefully getting back into writing and blogging a little more faithfully again.

I was gone all summer working as a camp counselor for a local Christian camp and having a blast working with both kids and horses and awesome people all summer long. Getting to share the gospel and Christ’s love to so many kids was amazing! It was quite an adventure filled with it’s own ups and downs though to say the least! Anyway, as soon as I got back to my home I started college classes immediately and they have occupied most of my time since then. I have missed writing on this blog though and so come back to you now. Thank you to all my followers for reading what I write. ~Anna

P.S. Just a quick reminder to you all: Going on an adventure is a wonderful thing to do even if times they can be uncomfortable things and make you late for dinner. But if you return, you will not be the same. Something about you will probably change. And I found that Gandalf gives very wise advice. 😉

bilbo reading by the fire


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Part 3 of my Review of the Hobbit Trilogy: The Battle of the Five Armies

I saw the “The Battle Of the Five Armies” on opening day last year with my friends and family. It was the highlight of Christmas season and so much fun to see. I thoroughly enjoyed it but as many of my other fellow fangirls will admit, I cried in that movie. Yep. More than once I shed tears. It was very well done and wrapped up the end of Tolkien’s beloved story beautifully. And it was sad. So sad! The ending of the story of the Hobbit is bittersweet. It tied into The Lord of the Rings really well though and helps to make a smooth transition into that trilogy.

The Battle of the Five armies begins directly where The Desolation of Smaug left off. It is the story of Thorin trying to regain his throne as King under the mountain, the people of Laketown trying to rebuild their lives after Smaug has destroyed it, Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf battling Sauron, The Elven King trying to regain his treasures from the Lonely Mountain, and of the troubles that come along with it. And in the midst of all the action a little Hobbit is right in the Middle of it who just wants to do what is right, protect his friends, and avoid a war. Dear Bilbo is truly heroic once more in this movie and makes himself even more loved by all those watching him. His loyalty to his friends is very admirable. The movie had many themes of bravery, courage, loyalty, kindness, friendship, selflessness and love which helped to make it more emotionally gripping than even the first two.

Here were my favorite scenes and parts from it:

When Bard slays the dragon. Bard risks his life to save his family and the people of the town by going up against Smaug with his bow and arrow. Even though his slaying of the dragon is a little different with the added element of his son I thought that it was a suspenseful way of playing it and watched with eagerness of how it would end. When Bard tells his son not to be afraid and just to look at him I teared up. It was a small thing but it reminded me of what God tells us as our heavenly father. When we are in danger he wants us to look to him for help. If we keep our eyes on him we won’t be so frightened by the danger around us.

bard dragon slayer

All the times that Legolas stands up for Tauriel. Legolas trusts and loves Tauriel and stands up for her and protects her many different times throughout the movie. His loyalty and kindness to her help to bring out his character and show what his heart is like. Tauriel helps Legolas as well by riding with him to Gundabad to gain information about the coming orc army and there she hears the sad tale from Legolas about why he no longer has a mother. *cries*

I love their friendship and they were definitely two of my most favorite characters in the movie.

Legolas and Tauriel Collage copy 2

When Bilbo brings the Arkenstone to The Elven King and Bard. Bilbo really wants to avoid a terrible war, so he takes the Arkenstone to offer as a bargaining tool between Bard and Thorin. This scene was humorous to watch because of Bilbos great faces that he makes while talking to Bard and Thranduil. And Thranduil then discovers that it was Bilbo who helped the dwarves to escape. This was a great scene that had everyone laughing:

thranduil and bilbo

Watching Legolas do his stunts and archery…yes, I just had to say something about that too! 😉 When he killed Bolg, I was cheering!

Caption: ORLANDO BLOOM as Legolas in the fantasy adventure movie  "THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES," a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), released by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM.  Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

When dear Thorin says goodbye to Bilbo. This part was so sad to watch but Thorins farewell words to Bilbo and Bilbos to Thorin were so kind and forgiving to one another. We are glad that they parted as friends.

bilbo saying goodbye

When Bilbo starts crying, I couldn’t help but cry too.

I was so happy though that Tauriel does not die! I was so afraid that she would but glad that she doesn’t in the end. Watching Thorin, Fili, and Kili die was bad enough.  Another favorite part for me even though it was small was the mention of Aragorn by Thranduil to Legolas. I loved that part! In the Lord of the Rings it’s obvious that Legolas and Aragorn have met before because of how Legolas defends Aragorn before Boromir at the council of Elrond. They must have met in the wild and become friends before seeing one another at the council and joining the Fellowship. That one little scene hints how that may have happened.

My only regrets about this movie was that they put way too much of that annoying made-up character of Alfrid in it. They so could have left him out. And I wish that we could have seen Thranduil laying Orchrist and Bard laying the Arkenstone on Thorins tomb. Oh well, maybe in the extended edition though.

And now about the ending song. Oh wow, oh my, it was amazing! Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye” was such an epic, touching and fitting end to the movie. And I loved the drawings of the characters that they showed in the credits too. Once more the music, special effects, and acting was stunning and amazing for the movie as well. I am glad that Peter Jackson was able to finish off the trilogy and tie together Middle-Earths stories so well. Having Galadriel and Elrond also make a small appearance in the movie also helped to show how the story fits with The Lord of the Rings.

The Hobbit trilogy is three of my favorite movies now. It is really hard to say which one of the three that I like the best so I am glad that I don’t have to choose just one. Thank you all for reading my reviews of them! It has been fun to share them with you all. I bid you all a very fond farewell. ~Anna


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Part 2 of my Hobbit Trilogy Review: The Desolation of Smaug

I saw the Hobbit One “An Unexpected Journey” on DVD for the first time in the Fall of 2013 so for me it was only a few months that I had to wait before seeing “The Desolation of Smaug” in Theaters. I was so very excited about another movie coming out! I had just finished reading and watching  all of “The Lord of the Rings” on dvd with my family and had raced through the books enjoying every minute of them. I had also read the Hobbit earlier that Spring and had enjoyed it as well.

My grandpa took my siblings and I to the theater to see it in 3D as a Christmas gift. My siblings and I were on the edge of our seats the whole time. We loved it!

The Hobbit collage

Let me proceed to tell you about, but beware there are spoilers for those who have not seen it yet!
The Desolation of Smaug was an exciting, edge of your seat movie filled with brave dwarve’s, courageous elves, scary Orc’s and a daring Hobbit. It was a fast paced, entertaining, fun, amazing, movie that was very enjoyable to watch. I think that it is the best movie to have come out in theaters in 2013!

“The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug” continues the story of Bilbo Baggins and his journey with Thorin Oakinshield and Company to reclaim the dwarves lost homeland and treasure from the ferocious dragon, Smaug who has stolen it. They have come through many perils already but with Gandalf the wizards help they escaped them.

The movie starts out with a prequel scene in Bree where Gandalf and Thorin first meet and the back round history of trying to reclaim Erebor, the dwarves captured city. Then we go back to where the first movie left off. We see Thorin, the dwarves and Bilbo hiding from orcs and wargs. They need a place to escape to but the only safe spot close by is a house that is lived in by a skin changer named, Beorn. Beorn is both a man and a bear. He is feared by all who know him. Even the orcs are afraid to go near his well protected home. But even so he is gracious to the dwarve’s and gives them lodgings and then supplies for their journey through Mirkwood.

At the boarders of the ancient forest Gandalf suddenly gets a disturbing message and says that he must leave at once! Leaving Thorin, Bilbo, and company to brave the dangers of Mirkwood alone. “Whatever you do, don’t leave the path!” Gandalf warns them as he races away.

The dwarves and the hobbit make their way slowly through dark and gloomy Mirkwood. But as they go further in they become confused and lost. Spiders attack them and they are only saved by the cunning and skill of brave Bilbo Baggins who save them all with his magic ring and sword, Sting.

Spiders continue to come out though and are about to overpower them when out jumps a handsome wood elf, Legolas, clad in elven armor with an arrow at his bow! Several other elves follow him and surround the dwarves including a beautiful and fearless she-elf, Tauriel, who ruthlessly attacks the spiders with a pair of daggers. The Elves believe that the dwarves are spies and up to trouble since they are trespassing on King Thranduil’s land. They are suspicious of them and take them to the Elven king in his Woodland Realm palace. There Thranduil, high king of the woodland realm questions Thorin about his quest. When Thorin refuses to bargain with the greedy Elven king he shuts them up in his dungeons.
Unbeknownst to them though, Bilbo is also in the palace but is invisible due to his magic ring! And he has a plan for getting them out.

And so follows a daring rescue, a near death escape, smuggling, traps, amazing archery and sword fighting, and dragon fire!
Be prepared: the movie goes by so fast and then leaves you on a huge cliffhanger! It started a lot of stories that you will have to wait to see how they all turn out until you see the final part of the trilogy.
What Do I think About It?
Okay, so that is what the movie is about but by now you might be wondering what I thought of it especially after the criticism it has been getting.

Well for those of you who didn’t like it you will be mad to know that I absolutely loved it and have no complaints about it!
For those of you who, like me, also loved it you will be glad to know that I feel the same way.

I have heard lots of different comments and complaints about the pros and cons of this movie but I am going to settle them in my own words by addressing the biggest complaints that people have been giving and saying what I think about them.

The Number 1 complaint that I have been hearing from people is that they are mad that the movie producers did not follow the book. Well, yes it is very true that they didn’t. They took the original story and added and changed some things about it in order that they could make an even bigger story about it. Does that mean that it was a bad movie? Absolutely not! In fact I thought and exciting movie based upon the book and don’t mind the changes then you will enjoy it.

Legolas son of thranduil Collage

What is Legolas like? Okay, first things first! Legolas is one of my most favorite characters from “The Lord of the Rings” so I was very excited when I heard that he was going to be in “The Desolation of Smaug” even though he is not in the book. I love his character and his personality and I was not at all disappointed with him in the Hobbit movie! To all you critics with rather insulting comments that say he looks so old and extremely different, I say that he does NOT! The only differences that I saw in the way he looked now and between “The Lord of the Rings” is that his face had filled out a little and looked a little more mature and that his eyes were a more brilliant blue. He looked just as young and handsome as ever though.

People have also said that his personality is different. The difference in this part of the story with his personality is that the movie is pointing out the fact that, like his father, Legolas, (at first), does not get along with dwarves. That is why it is so amazing when he becomes best friends with a dwarf, Gimli that is, in “The Lord of the Rings!”

Legolas sword fighting and archery was amazing as usual and he got to do lots of cool stunts! He continued to fight orcs with a smile on his face. His brave, courageous and very loyal character was still clearly seen as well. He also seems to like Tauriel and is very protective of her! He was a great character to have in the movie and I am so glad that Peter Jackson decided to bring him back into the story. He was one of most favorite characters in this movie.The movie would not have been quite as much fun if the only main characters were a Hobbit and dwarves. It needed a loveable hero and a girl heroine character! Speaking of which that now brings us to Tauriel…

tauriel soft picture

Who is Tauriel? Tauriel is a beautiful girl elf that Peter Jackson introduced into the story because there are no girl characters at all in The Hobbit book. And I am glad that he did! The book could have really used a girl character. And so I really liked Tauriel a lot! She is brave, fearless, and a skilled archer and yet at the same time sweet, compassionate, and un-selfesh to others.

Is there a romance in the movie? Yes, there is. A slight one between Tauriel and Kili. But we really do not see too much of it. Tauriel saves Kili more than once from danger. And Kili is awed and impressed by her and likes her a lot. Tauriel in her turn seems to like Kili just because he is sweet to her.

Do I like it more than “The Lord of the Rings?” No! But, “The Lord of the Rings” are three of the best movies ever made and nothing will ever be able to replace them. It would be very hard to come close to making such a good and meaningful story again. The Hobbit book to be sure is a very fun and exciting adventure story but it does not have the same emotion, drama, or meaning that The Lord of the Rings has. That is why we cannot expect a perfect repeat even from the same director, using the same authors work. You just have to enjoy “The Hobbit” for what it is but know that “The Lord of the Rings” will always be the best.

What does the movie look like in 3D? In my opinion it looked awesome in 3D and my siblings felt the same way. The picture was bright, clear, and crisp. It felt like you could reach out and touch it and made you feel like you were apart of the story.

What were my favorite things about the movie? The beautiful Middle-Earth scenery, the fast paced adventure story, the realistic Smaug the dragon, the dramatic and pretty music, the exciting and yet clean storyline and best of all the heroes, Bilbo, Thorin, Gandalf, Legolas, Tauriel, Balin, Fili, Kili and so on. (The movie is only rated PG13 for the scary creatures, fighting and action.)

bilbo barrel rider

Bilbo Baggins continues to be the perfect unlikely hero of the story, who saves his friends more then once. There was really nothing to dislike about him at all! The characters that I liked best in this movie are Legolas, Tauriel, Bilbo, Balin the dwarf, and Gandalf.

bilbo and the bufferfiles gif

What were my favorite scenes? My favorite scenes in the movie were these ones: Bilbo and the Butterflies was a beautiful one, the barrel scene was very fun and exciting to watch, the scenery and animals around Beorn’s home was very pretty, the Elven Kings halls were quite impressive, and I enjoyed watching Legolas and Tauriel do archery together.
 What were my least favorite things about the movie? My least favorite things about the movie was seeing ugly old Bolg and Azog the orcs again and Alfrid was just plan aggravating and totally unneeded.

That’s all for now, I’ll try to get the final post on “The Battle of the Five Armies” done soon.
To my all fellow Middle-Earth fans and MellonsHannon le for reading this post! ~Anna


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All We Have to Decide is What to Do with the Time that Is Given Us

All we must decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~J.R.R Tolkiens “The Fellowship of the Ring”

This is a  powerful quote that has been on my mind lately. It is so short and simple and yet it reminds me that I have been given a life to live from God and how we use our time here on earth is so important.  Just like it says here in James 4: 13-14 Come now, you who say, “Today or  tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen  tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

According to the Bible our life is just like a mist. Here for a moment and then gone. And how we choose to live it will impact us for all of eternity. We don’t know the day the Lord will call us home or will come in the clouds to get us but until he does He has given each and every one of us a task to do and a purpose to live. Most importantly to serve and glorify Him.

So for me I have been thinking about and praying that God will help me to live my life the way he wants me to and that he will help me to use the time I have been given wisely. Even in the simple things that do add up in the end.  Like remembering to spend time helping and playing with my siblings, helping my parents get ready for our home Bible study each week and trying to remember to think about what others would need instead of just thinking of myself. I also hope and pray to be able to tell others about Jesus throughout my life as I think that is one of the most important things we can do.  ~Anna

all we have to decide Collage


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My Review of the Hobbit Trilogy: Part 1 “An Unexpected Journey.”

I know this isn’t a book post. But these movies are based upon one of my most favorite books “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien so I just had to write about them. 🙂

Around Christmastime our much anticipated third and final chapter of the Hobbit trilogy hit theaters. My family and I went with friends to see it on opening night. I had been looking forward to it all year and I was not  disappointed by it all! It was an amazing and well done conclusion that brought not only the Hobbit films to an epic conclusion but also tied it into The Lord of the Rings trilogy very nicely as well. Because I have enjoyed the Hobbit films so much I wanted to write a review of them but just had not gotten the chance to until now so here finally is my review of the three Hobbit films in pictures starting with the first one “An Unexpected Journey”…

bilbo smoking a pipe

In the first film “An Unexpected Journey we meet this quiet Hobbit of the shire, Bilbo Baggins who does not want to go on any adventures, thank you! ( He reminds me of myself a lot. I love this character!) He was brilliantly portrayed by Martin Freeman who played Biblo perfectly and brought him to life on screen .

Because of his friend, Gandalf and the 13  dwarves that show up on his door step Bilbo does decide to go on an adventure anyway. He has no idea of what he has just gotten himself into though!

Cave trolls, rock giants, beautiful Elven cities, nasty orcs and wargs, a magic ring, and a mysterious creature called Gollum all make up his “unexpected journey” to help the dwarves on their journey to reclaim their homeland from the dragon in this first film. I love how closely they managed to follow the book in this one and how beautiful and captivating the scenery of the Shire and Rivendell is. My favorite part of this movie is the first 40 minutes when we  meet Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarves in His Hobbit hole.

bilbo baggins

“I’m going on an adventure”!!!

bilbo meets thorin

“So this is the Hobbit?” This part where Thorin firsts meets Bilbo makes me tear up. Dear Thorin! We want you to stay like this always…

He is such a majestic and brave leader of the dwarves.

fili and kili at your service  And then of course there are Thorin’s nephews Fili and Kili. Bilbo tells them that they can’t come in but they do anyways. (good thing too!)

all 12 dwarves

13  dwarves come to his house in all! Bilbo is quite shocked.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Ahh, Rivendell! So perfect and beautiful. The home of the elf ruler, Elrond and his elves. Bilbo wished he could live there his whole life long and I do too! 😉

This is where one of my favorite quotes in the whole movie comes from when Gandalf talks to the elf queen, Galadriel about the dwarves quest. (By the way I was very happy that Galadriel was in this movie. She adds such a graceful touch to it.)

“Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I’ve found that it is the small every day deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” ~Gandalf

Gandalf-and-Galadriel-1024x441

“An Unexpected Journey” leaves off with the dwarves having made their way through the treacherous Misty Mountains to the other side and are given a ride to safety by the Eagles. Bilbo has become a much braver Hobbit since we first met him. He wanted to give up and go home but has decided not to. The dwarves are his friends now and he is going to see their quest through to the end with them.

the eagles

Yes, there were a few small added scenes and events that did not occur in the actual book but some of them do come into other Middle-Earth tales so they ended up fitting in quite well. My only complaint about this movie is that they show ugly old Azog the orc quite a few times. 😛 (And yes, he is added. His story actually occurred earlier in Middle-Earths time, but oh well they make it work anyway.)

All-in-all though it is a very well done and awesome movie and I have enjoyed watching it many times over. The Hobbit has so many memorable scenes, characters, and quotes it is truly a classic both as a book and a movie. The film score composed by Howard Shore is adds a very epic and dramatic flair that helps to make the movie both visually and audibly outstanding. And The New Zealand scenery is stunning as usual and out of the three Hobbits films is seen the most in this one. It is truly breath taking and no it is not Computer Generated!!

I could go on talking about how much I loved this movie for a quite a long time but will have to stop here for now. Next up I will be reviewing The Hobbit part 2: “The Desolation of Smaug”

Thanks everyone for reading! Hope that you all enjoyed it. To end with here one of my most favorite soundtracks from the movie. It is called “The Adventure Begins”

~Anna


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Even the Smallest Person Can Change the Course of the Future

(This article I originally wrote for “A Lovely Calling” a year ago now. That blog has been updated since then and the article fits better on this one so I moved it over here. Hope you all enjoy!)

“Even the Smallest Person can Change the Course of the Future.” Galadriel to Frodo in J.R.R. Tolkiens The Fellowship of the Ring

This has to be one of my most favorite quotes from “The Lord of the Rings” because it reminds me that no matter how small I feel or am God can still use me for His Glory. At a whopping 5 feet and 2 or maybe 3 inches there are times when I really do feel so small! I also don’t have a lot of physical strength as compared to some people in my family either.

When I look around at the trouble in our world I sometimes feel so helpless to be able to do anything about it. What can an average, small person like myself do without rank or money to make an impact for Christ and help others? I’d like to be able to do things like help stop abortions and help to ensure that babies come safely into this world. But is that too big for me I wonder? And then I feel doubtful. But it is also then that I am reminded by God in His Word that He has a plan and purpose for my life and that I don’t need to worry because He has it all worked out already. Physical size or smallness of rank in the this world doesn’t matter a bit when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven. If God sees fit I pray that He would use me to help further His Kingdom in whatever way he wants and that I would be able to go boldly forward without fear to whatever he wants me to do.

In my imagination I sometimes like to pretend that I’m an Elf in Middle-Earth. But in reality I’m oftentimes more like a Hobbit. (I know,flattering huh?) I like my warm house and comfort zone, and am sometimes unsure of new things, people and adventures. God just has to give me a nudge out of the door at times! But I  am eagerly waiting to see how He will use me and am praying that He will help me to trust Him on whatever adventure he chooses to send me on!

~Anna

Photo edit by me. 🙂

The smallest person Collage