Making a Dorm a Home––Part 2

Go here to read part one of “Making your dorm a home.”

Sharing a room

One of the best, and most challenging, parts of moving to dorm is having a roommate. Whether you’ve had to share a room for years with a sibling or you’ve had your own space, it can be an adjustment to live with someone else, even if it’s the best friend you’ve known for years.

jft2If you’re going to be living with a friend you already know, get together and decide on a plan for your room. Who is bringing what? What kind of style do you each have? Are you both tidy people, or does one tend to leave clothing scattered on the floor? These are things you may want to consider when planning your shared space. If you’re rooming with someone you’ve never met, as a result of random selection by the college, try to contact the person beforehand to talk and get to know one another. Discuss your interests and styles and what each of you can provide for the room.

Decorating with a roommate

You may not care that you and your roommate have mismatched, clashing comforters on the beds––but your plaids and stripes with her dainty flowers might drive her crazy. You may love the smell of hydrangea candles––but she may get a headache any time she lingers near a floral scent. Make sure you discuss decorating ideas with your roommate, if possible, before you start purchasing everything for the room. However, don’t feel like you have to sacrifice your tastes to make her happy. Sharing a room is going to be about compromise, and it’s important that you are both willing to do so. Talk openly and kindly about what styles you each like and how you’d like to arrange and decorate your room.

Two’s too many

You probably don’t need two mini-fridges. Or microwaves. Or sets of curtains. Try to determine beforehand who will bring what. Does she have a microwave her parents are getting rid of for a newer one? Let her bring it! Did you find a great deal on a set of cute curtains? Let her know so that she doesn’t start shopping for some. Some things may be fine in duplicates, but consider the expense and whether you’ll ever need more than one at the same time. Another option is to go in together and purchase something larger for your room, like the mini-fridge. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll eventually have to decide how to split these items up.

Decorating and planning can be exciting with your new roommate. Just remember to lovingly consider one another’s ideas and preferences. And while it’s not necessary to have duplicates of certain items in your room, there are some things that you’ll probably each want for yourselves––like a computer.

By Lisa Grimenstein

Making a Dorm a Home––Part 1

Entering college means for many of us entering a whole new realm––dorm rooms. Whether you have a roommate or are on your own, a private room, or a suite shared with several girls, there are some things you want to consider before moving in. In this series, we’ll cover some of the basics of dorm living and what you’ll need or want to make it your temporary home.


There are several appliances you might want to have in your dorm room. However, before rushing out to buy any of them, check with your dorm policies regarding which appliances and such are allowed in the dorm. Some schools don’t allow hot plates or other like items, since they can pose a fire hazard.

Microwave––A microwave is a very handy appliance when living in a dorm. While many dorms may have a small kitchenette for everyone to use, which includes a microwave, it’s nice to have one for yourself when you need to heat up a late-night snack or cup of hot chocolate. Look around at yard sales or clearance sections for a good deal on one, or check with people you know to see if they’re getting rid of an old one. Try to keep the size small, as most dorm rooms are not that large to begin with.

Mini-fridge––A small refrigerator is a great asset to your room. It allows so many options. Having a small fridge means you can stock healthier snacks for late study nights––yogurt, string cheese, orange juice. Or even the occasional roll of chocolate chip cookie dough. There is also a small freezer inside to keep a frozen meal or two for those times you aren’t able to make it to the cafeteria for dinner before it closes. Mini-fridges are often on sale toward the middle to end of summer, as the school year approaches, so start looking now if you’re considering buying one.

Iron––If you have anything at all that will need ironing––and you probably will––you need an iron and ironing board. The iron doesn’t need to be top of the line––a simple one should do the trick. If your dorm room is very small, a white towel can be laid on a table or desk in place of an ironing board.

Remember that these appliances are not essentials––don’t go tell your parents you have to have them!––but they can be helpful. There are many other items you may want to take with you to make your dorm a home––toaster oven, coffee maker (cheaper than buying Starbucks every morning!), or electric kettle. Keep in mind the amount of space you’ll have and whether or not a roommate may be bringing that same item. Which leads us to our topic for next time––sharing a room.

By Lisa Grimenstein

Happy Independence Day!

jft5Our theme in July 2008 was “Pierce my heart to enjoy freedom in Christ” and all of our articles written that month can be found here.

There’s a short devotional about freedom in Christ, a comic (complete with a fun poll underneath!) about Independence Day, fun patriotic dessert suggestions, a poem about freedom, a book review pertaining to freedom, a list of ways to show your freedom, and an article about our greatest freedom––freedom in Christ.

As you enjoy the fireworks and food this Fourth of July, don’t forget to thank God for blessing you with the freedom this country offers, as well as the freedom found only in Him (Galatians 5:1).

Davonne Parks

Last chance to enter book giveaway

jft10Today is the last day to submit photos of tie-dye things you’ve made (t-shirts, pillows, etc.) for use in our Gifted Girls article next month. You can send pictures to Info @ PierceMyHeart . com (remove spaces).

This is also the last day to enter to win our June giveaway. The winner, who will be announced on June 30, will receive a book valued at $9.99.

If you have any questions, let us know, and we will respond to you as quickly as possible.

– Davonne Parks

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

jft7aTwo roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Our preacher was giving a short lesson before Bible class on a recent Wednesday night. I’d been thinking about my upcoming test to receive my driver’s license. Would the test be hard? What if I failed? What if tomorrow never comes?…Well, what if? I should have been patient and let God handle it all, but once again, I was getting in my own way. I shoved my license concerns out of my mind and listened to Hoby speak. One of the verses he mentioned was Proverbs 16:17: “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.” Now you know the word “highway” had to catch my attention. Coincidence that Hoby used that verse, allowed me think about it, and apply it to my life right now? Um, doubt it. That’s God working right there.

Thursday afternoon came. Three o’clock license appointment. Passed! So that was it? I had my license; it was over. Now, I’m free (with a few restrictions) to go to town and eat with my friends, to pick one up for a youth activity, to see a movie, to just ride. . . . But I got so worked up in the time leading up to it. Why? Because it was something I couldn’t get yet, something that others had, that I wanted so badly! What does that sound like?

jft7bYou know, Satan makes sin look enticing. He tells us, “Everyone else is doing it, you don’t want to miss out! Hurry!” We want to be a part of it so badly, until …we are. We do what everyone else does. We watch those movies that we know we shouldn’t watch. We say those words. We listen to those songs. We put things into our bodies that could destroy us mentally, physically, and spiritually. What happens after we’re doing it? That’s it. There’s nothing left to long for, to want so badly. We’re just stuck in a rut, alone, wanting a way out, to find something bigger and better to live for. Depressing, huh?

Earlier you read, “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil…” When Satan tempts you, depart; take God’s highway! He provides us a way of escape every time we are tempted (1 Cor. 10:13). When you start to lust after earthly things, run to God. Study His Word. Guard yourself with His teachings. Talk to Him in prayer; He knows when you are weak! By doing these things, it might also be easier to teach those who have not been saved. We have to (but we also need to want to) deny ourselves and our earthly lusts, seek Him first, and set our minds above (Colossians 3:2). Without Him, nothing else we do matters!

So, here I am. New license, a Christian girl. I can either drive through life’s highway, looking for temporary stops and pleasures on earth, and end up ruining my life, losing it all forever … or, I can depart from evil, seek Him, deny myself, focus on my end and eternal destination, and allow Him to preserve my soul forever. Now think back if you can; what did the speaker of that poem do? He took the road less traveled by. What are Christians to do? Enter by the narrow gate, although there are few who go in by it (Matthew 7:13-14). I believe I will choose the narrow road. There, I know I am never alone. I know I always have a Friend who keeps me going, lifts me up, strengthens me, never lets me forget where I’m headed, and loves me. The road each of us chooses can make all the difference. . . .

. . . I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

By Hannah Smith

If I perish, I perish

jft2Are you familiar with this line from Scripture? It was said by Queen Esther (Esther 4:16) when she determined to approach her husband, the king, to plead for the deliverance of the Jews––even though she knew that to approach the king without being summoned meant almost certain death. Ultimately, she chose to be obedient to God, regardless of the possible result.

How often do we disobey God, giving the excuse that the result would be more than we could handle? Or that He wouldn’t mind our disobedience because He wouldn’t really want us to face the possible outcome? But disobedience is disobedience. God doesn’t take pleasure in our suffering, but He tells us that we will suffer. 1 Peter 3:17: “It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

We may not be called upon to suffer the extreme consequence of death in obedience to the Lord, but there are many other “sufferings” we attempt to avoid, which results in our disobedience. Let’s have the obedient attitude of Esther, knowing that to please and obey God is more important than trying to avoid discomfort in this world.

If I lose a friend, I lose a friend.
If they laugh at me, they laugh at me.
If my heart gets broken, my heart gets broken.
If they call me intolerant, they call me intolerant.
If people hate me, people hate me.

If I suffer in obedience to Him, I am blessed.

1 Peter 3:14: “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.”

By Lisa Grimenstein

Happy Father’s Day!

jftSeveral of the Pierce My Heart staff members wrote short tributes to our fathers last year, which can be read here.

If you need a last minute idea of something special to do for Father’s Day, read this article.

Our fathers, and father figures, work so hard to take care of us and protect us.   This Father’s Day, let’s show them the appreciation they deserve by doing something kind for them and taking the time to tell them how much they mean to us.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ”

– Davonne Parks

The Heart

jft5We’re told in Luke 6:45 that “the good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

This verse may look a little confusing at first glance, but the meaning is actually very straightforward. To show you what I mean, I’ll break it down into three parts.

1) “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good.” That means that if someone has a good heart, they will speak good things. Pure-hearted people say good things about others, and they’re kind.

2) “The evil man out of the evil treasure [of his heart] brings forth what is evil.” When a person has sin in her heart, she will say bad things about other people, or talk about immoral activities (including movies or TV shows), because that’s what she’s filling her heart with.

3) “For his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” This sums up the first and second part of the verse. Think of it like this: I talk about what I fill my heart with. Are you speaking of pure things––godly things, or are you struggling with angry outbursts and gossip? What do you allow to fill your heart?

As we live our lives to please Him, let’s pray that our hearts are filled only with things that are pleasing to Him, which will cause our actions and words to be pure as well (Philippians 4:8).

By Davonne Parks

Choosing a Career

jft8Choosing a career path is among the toughest decisions we’ll ever make. A lot of thought goes into it…or not. If you just go where the wind blows, you’ll probably end up in a job that you don’t like, that you aren’t really suited for, and that doesn’t enhance your talents.

To find a career path that’s right for you, analyze the things you do best or like the most. has a questionnaire to help you discover your interests, and discusses how to assess them into choosing a career that suits you best.

Now, Discover Your Strengths is an excellent book to read. That book will direct you to a free on-line test which will assess your strengths. I recommend reading the book and taking the test. It claims that no matter what your current age, the results will come out very close to who you will be at any age. I was amazed at how accurate the assessment was!

No matter which career path we choose, we need to always remember to choose one that won’t compromise our Christian principles. We need to be confident in who we are, and in “Whose” we are. Whichever career we choose, it needs to, above all, glorify God (Colossians 3:17).

By Carol Gartman

I Don’t Care!

jft9aThat statement is often heard from us teenagers, is it not? We all say it from time to time, at least––most commonly, when we don’t really mean it. Someone forgets our birthday? I don’t care! We fail a test? I don’t care! A relationship ends? I don’t care! But often, we do care!

People may say they don’t care to avoid dealing with problems, to look tough and resilient, to keep others from asking uncomfortable questions, or to avoid confrontation. You know the excuses. You’ve said it. The honest truth is, we are human and we care!

The only times, perhaps, we may really not care are when a friend offers a peanut butter and banana sandwich or cereal (two terrific choices!), someone spills something on our old paint-ball tee (it’s already stained anyways), or someone calls you and really needs to talk. Besides instances like these, yes…you probably do care.

Go ahead … don’t care!

There is, however, definitely one never-changing, major important reason to honestly and completely say the words I don’t care: when someone criticizes you for serving and pleasing God. We as Christians know that Christ died for us, and we owe our lives to Him (2 Corinthians 5:15), and there is a place for us in eternity with Him (John 14:1-3).

That’s enough reason right there to tell someone who tells us we are strange, “I don’t care!” We are told plainly that we’ll suffer at times (2 Timothy 3:12). (Read about some of Paul’s sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11.) When we look at the big picture, though, we don’t know suffering like Christ did. At any rate, all of us go through times of strengthening; we are presented with situations in which we can make an impact for Christ, or we can follow the world.

So then, what if:

Your classmate laughs at you when you leave an activity to attend Bible class? Say it then. You don’t have to be mean or rude, just simply say, “I don’t care if you laugh.” In fact, invite them to come with you!

Some kids tell you that you are too uptight, and say you need to loosen up and have some fun? You explain to them why you abstain from those harmful, worldly lusts, but they think you “need to grow up,” and “stop being a baby.” Who cares!? If you are following God’s Word, and striving to be “blameless and harmless” in a “crooked and perverse generation” (Phil. 2:15), then you are obeying Him, and that’s all that matters.

jft9bYou ask to leave work early to go with the youth group to a singing? Your boss says he will cut your pay that day. (Well, you might not want to say, “I don’t care,” out loud…but think it.) Tell him you will take the consequences, because God comes first in your life no matter what!

Now, care!

Girls, when we show the world that we don’t care what they think as long as we are giving it our all to please and serve Him, they notice! We have to take our trials, and allow God to help us turn them into opportunities to take a stand for our Lord. We need to realize that we can’t care if others think negative things about us when we’re obeying His Word. “Count it joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3–4).

The next time someone makes fun of you or hurts your feelings because you are trying to please Him, remember––this is your chance to stand for Christ and to shine as a light for Him! The following is a well-known verse that we must never forget: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Now that’s something to care about!

By Hannah Smith