Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Twenty-Two and Smiling



I turned twenty-two yesterday.

I feel as if I've dropped twenty years these last couple months, if you are wondering if I feel any older.
I believe I shall be Forever Young

I have three words I love to over use in my writing. Mostly because I feel they describe my hopes and desires to a t.
But. . . these words keep growing for me, in me.
Encourage, Edify, Entertain

I've changed a lot since . . . Forever? Or have I changed . . . is it simply developing in the directions I've chosen despite what life has thrown at me?

I have moved a lot. I have hated a lot (not saying this is good).
I have laughed a lot (this is mostly good . . . maybe not the times I laughed because of mean pranks I committed or to hide away the pain I truly felt ;b).
I have had a lot of friends (yay!). 
And I have lost a ton of friends (not so yay).
I have said I'd never love. And then I loved way too much . . . only to have my heart broken. But, man, did I learn a lot through that. And still am learning from that . . .

I've learned that identity doesn't matter. That it's modern self-love propaganda. True identity is my name and what I like. I've found saying things like "I don't know myself," is foolish. Because . . . when I ask "who am I?" I'm looking at me way too hard and not nearly enough at the rest of the world, and especially not hard enough at God. No, identity searching is really stupid, because if I don't know who I am I should just check my birth certificate. If I still don't know who I am I should probably be sent to a mental institution. After that I should just stop caring about who I am and start doing something worthwhile. 

No, what matters is what am I doing and who am I loving.

I am twenty-two and I feel I've just learned to breathe in the last six months. It's the best feeling I've ever known.

Complete satisfaction in everything. Who I am (I focus on me less), what I do (just love it all even if I don't!), where I am going (even though I still don't know half the time).

And I have this sense of joy that no matter how many more bad things may happen in the rest of my life I'll always own this deep peace stemmed from utter satisfaction.

Pain, physical or emotional, may come. But that won't determine my satisfaction.

Disappointment and tears will return once more than I want. But nothing can erase the deep smile I own.

Life may slap me, rip me, destroy me. But inside I'll be full of Yahweh's peace.

I may lose everything I love. I may have my heart broken again. I may be betrayed by those I thought I could trust. Loved ones may die. I may find I'm living where I don't want to be. I may find that my work isn't ideal. I may have to deal with those I consider stupid idiots
I may become uncertain of which path I should take.

All of those are mere irritations. Tests to work through. But none of them will ever again control how I feel, who I am, or destroy the satisfied joy I own.

Pain. It is hard.

But for once in my life I am thankful I've had it.

And though I never saw myself where I am today, I love where Yahweh has lead me.

And this is seriously the happiest birthday I've ever had! I remember having really good birthdays age nine and under, but after that . . .

I feel like a child again:

Carefree, complete, called.

Most of all, I feel prepared and equipped to be true to the three words God gave me: edify, encourage, entertain.

I know He will help my words do all three to others even as His words have done and continue to do all three for me.

I continue to evaluate what these three words mean. How they interact in all I do, say, write, read, see, watch . . . you get the picture.

I love to learn. I love to be inspired. I love to laugh

So why wouldn't I love these words and want to share them to their full potential? And reap their full potential for myself?

I feel this post was really random. But sometimes happiness appears random. Especially when one lone, broken-but-now-whole idiot dances in a dark world full of stupid idiots. I'm not denying that the world is still full of horrible people doing horrible things.

They just can't kill the satisfaction.

Terrible and wonderful things are constantly happening in my life, and always will. But instead of being dragged down by all of the things I hate I'm being amazed at all the ways I'm being blessed. And wow . . . the more I look, the more I choose, the more I am truly blessed.

More on that soon ;D



Tell me your thoughts! How has life changed for you? Do you strive for satisfaction or identity? And did this post make any sense?

My four year blogiversary is coming up, and I've decided to break from my mold and follow the flow ;) How does a vlog sound with me answering questions you've asked? 
So, ask away and I'll try to make my first vlog for you guys!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

New Hair, Pretense, and Heart of Dolls




New Hair

I know we should go, my daughter and I. But I can’t manage to make myself move.
The scissors in my hand clang to the floor.

What have I done? They’re expecting us, my family. But wait until they see me.

Linnie knocks on my bedroom door, but she doesn’t wait for me to answer. She rushes in. “Mom, we’re late-“ her words change. “Your hair.”

I laugh. “Yes, Linnie. My hair.”

“It’s on the floor.” her words shatter me.

I forget about being strong and not scaring her. I start sobbing, pulling at the hair that remains on my head. For so long I loved my hair... it was my pride. I kept it long, healthy, beautiful. Now it falls through my clothes, itching my skin. It clings to the carpet floor. It’s all gone.

Linnie doesn’t freak. She’s too mature for a child. She gives me a quick hug. “We need to go.”

Somehow she drags me to the car. She fastens my seatbelt.

“It’s OK, Mom. Just drive. I’ll tell you when to turn.”

I don’t pay attention to the speedometer or road.

I thought cutting off my hair would make me feel better. Prepare me to lead a new life.

I’m still the same me; broken, betrayed.

“Mom, I feel you’re going too fast.”

“Maybe your feelings are just sensitive,” I snap. I quickly say, “Sorry.”

She’s not bothered by my words. “Everything will be OK.”

I wish she were right, but I know she’s not.





Pretense

Come on, smile, if you want.
Keep the facade alive.
For the longer you pretend to be happier the more chance you have of it being so.

Show the world you’re OK. Happiness is good. Be positive. Be positive. POSITIVE.

Nothing is bad. No negativity.

We live in the best country, the great U.S.A.
Freedom lives because we’re told it’s true.
Our prisons aren’t full of innocents — we’d never allow that.
Those that say otherwise are just cranky, trouble causers.

Everyone has a home. Everyone has a a fair chance to become more. We need to send missionaries elsewhere, for there’s none that starve or freeze among us.

All of us have the chance to make a better life just by breathing American air. No injustice, no wrong, no premature death.

We are a selfless people living for liberty, respect, unity.

Happy. Be happy. Choose to be happy.
Take more pills if you’re not quite happy.
Drink. Party.

Pretend there’s nothing to be done.
Believe the lies.
Smile.

Rights turned into privileges. What does it matter?

Care. Who cares?
What is there to care about?
Nothing.
Nothing is wrong with you, with the world, with us.

Just keep smiling. Keep playing the game of a perfect, privileged life.





Heart of Dolls

“Do you ever feel life is like a game?” Paige asked Grandma.

“No. But then I take life seriously. Unlike most young people.” Grandma's eyes never left her yarn and needles amidst her flying fingers.

Paige stared out the living-room window, deep in thought, ignoring her Grandma's insult. That's why they made such a good pair. Paige could ask ridiculous things, Grandma could be blunt, and neither ever felt offended.

Going to Grandma's helped Paige to be able to think. Right now she had so much to think about. “I told Seth he's being stupid. I couldn’t help myself.”

“Of course, Paige. If one could help themselves they wouldn't need Jesus. You need to let others help you.”

Paige turned away from the window, “Grandma, I'm being serious.”

Grandma dropped her knitting, raising her eyebrows. “You are? I heard you say life is a game.”

Paige laughed. “Yes. I meant to say that others seem to treat it that way. 'Do this, say this, follow these rules, then stuff will happen and you'll finish amazingly.' Don't you ever get tired of just moving a long with the crowd?”

“Yep. That's why I left the crowd years ago. Paige, life isn't a game, but people have become dolls. And that's why you feel that way.”

“Dolls?”

“And,” Grandma resumed knitting. “They all have the hearts of dolls, too.”

“Dolls don't have hearts-”

“Exactly,” Grandma chuckled. “But they sure look pretty, don't they? Pretty and perfect. But inside they have no spunk.”


I feel today's flash fictions are just really weird. But maybe you'll like one of them or all of them. The middle one really isn't fiction . . . but I won an honorable mention for it at the place I write all of this stuff for ;D Have a great Saturday, everyone! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Captured From Bondage




Following God is simple, and it's complex.

It's easy. It's hard.

It's all about relationship. But we'd be lying if we said God doesn't have rules, guidelines, expectations.

What does this relationship look like, this business of following Yahweh and Yeshua, our God and our Messiah?

Some say it's a liberal love. It is. Some think God's way is legalistic. If you term legalism a perfect standard that can't be changed, then that would be true. If you term legalism as following standards rather than God then you would be wrong.

Rules aren't bad. Serving rules is bad.

Following God means following Him, including His ways (rules). But to only follow His rules is so empty. Who follows rules without a master? That would be like following a master without rules. Both methods alone are pointless and inefficient.

Balance. It's a balanced paradox. Not too liberal. Not too legalistic. Just perfect... judging by love, free to serve, following God in obedience.

When we follow God we find that at last we are free... free to serve.

We may choose our master.

But we may not choose the consequences. Though our choices may affect the consequences we receive.

Life, no matter what we do, is a constant paradox.

But that doesn't mean it can't make sense. No, a true paradox can still be explained, if not philosophically at least through scripture. The greatest paradox of God is that no matter how unreal His ways may appear they are reality, truth, life.

We were free to sin. Yet God's truth and love captured us from bondage so we might serve Him rather than Satan.

I love words. I love ideas. And I really love that following God is so much deeper than just living for self, following selfish dreams, following our heart.

I love how almost every Christian denomination sees part of the picture clearly. I'm sad that almost every denomination sees most of the picture wrong. We get too hung up over our own interpretations, or even other men's interpretations. Instead of listening to what God has to say through His own words.

Following God takes thought. And all at once it takes no thought... we just do as He says. There's no need to worry, to stress over what's right, what's wrong? because He's spelled it out for us to read and learn and follow.

It's all about love. But what is love? It's all about God. But who is God? We know freedom in God. But what does this freedom look like? 

Each truth raised another question that we may know only through God's answers. That's the beauty of it... we know Him more by continuing the curiosity of, "Yes, but what does that look like?"

And the paradox grows even more with this amazing verse on works vs faith.

But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." ~ James 2:18 NAS


What paradoxes of life amaze you?

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Lawrence Children: Chapter 10

Fred-O is Frightened





“They buried him in autumn
Yet couldn't hide their guilt.
Fred-O spoke what was so
Who lives half as good?”

Fred-O held onto his seat as Noah guided the horse and small wagon (they had stopped using the sleigh weeks ago to go to school) over the rough ground. Fred-O sang heartily at the top of his lungs, his beloved song, singing the same words over and over.
Ann seemed about ready to jump out of the wagon. Fred-O wondered if it was more because she was irritated with the song, or if she were overjoyed that it was spring. The bumps of the wagon weren't suiting her excitement too well – but they added a nice texture to Fred-O's song.
Fred-O laughed – Ann was funny.
Suddenly she did jump out, and started running to the cabin. Lucy was outside taking dry clothes from off the line.
“It's spring!” Ann shouted.
The words sounded good to Fred-O's ears for many reasons.
School would be out soon. And the ground was almost soft enough to truly start their treasure hunt.
Fred-O knew that's what Ann was referring to – Grandpa's treasure. Because it was all she could talk about the whole way home when she could get a word in between his singing.
“How does Mr Farrows know it's spring?” Fred-O asked Noah, stopping his song to ask his question.
“What do you mean?”
“He knew today was spring before today even came. We tell spring by flowers and animals and the sun – how does he know without looking at those things?”
“His almanac tells him,” Noah shrugged.
“And how?”
“It's predicted by the phases of the moon.”
Fred-O wasn't sure he understood better. He knew the moon controlled a lot of things according to Mr Farrows' science books. But how could it predict when spring started?
He let the thought go as they pulled up in front of the house. Fred-O jumped out of the wagon. He was ready to run to the shack and start the hunt – he was sure Ann would join him.
But Noah needed help putting the horse away.
And then Lucy had too many chores for him.
And then Vern had chores for him, too.
Fred-O ran through everything, but by the time he finished it was too dark to go exploring and Vern was ready for dinner.
Ann chattered away the whole time supper was being served, hardly quieting for Vern to pray.
“Just because it's spring doesn't mean we can just go out and start searching,” Vern said. Fred-O caught the wink in his eye.
Ann did not see that Vern was teasing. “Why not?” She sobered down a little and started eating.
Vern laughed.
So did Lucy and Noah and Fred-O.
“I think we can go up this next weekend – if that works for Lucy. And you all do what you need to,” Vern said.
Lucy nodded, “It will be good to get this mystery stuff behind us.”
“Oh! Good!” Ann said. “I know I will find the treasure.”
“You!?” Noah's incredulity turned up a notch. “I wouldn't be so sure.”
“I want to find it,” Fred-O chimed in.
Lucy cut in, “I think we are all supposed to find it together.”
“Not really Julie,” Fred-O said. “She's too little to find treasure.”
“Fred-O,” Vern said. “Even she can help.”
“By following us – that's not helping,” Fred-O grinned.
“We could say the same about you,” Noah teased as he stuck a piece of cornbread into his mouth.
Fred-O made a face at Noah as he kept eating.
He couldn't wait for the weekend. And it appeared neither could Ann or Noah.

The boys unbarred the shack door. All the siblings sat on the floor, with the map in the center on the floor so that everyone could see it. They had brought a compass, shovel, and lunches.
Fred-O had to stand on the tips of his toes and stretch his neck forward – it was hard to see past everyone else. But he could understand the map was so simple it didn't make sense.
“Well, we are certainly at the starting place,” Vern said. “Here's Grandpa's shack – not sure what else to do.”
“We walk straight – that way,” Fred-O said, pointing out of the cabin. It's what the map said, after all.
But Vern didn't seem to be convinced. Yet as a group they went straight using the compass as a guide. They turned left. And then right. And then left again. Before going straight just a bit more.
“This isn't leading anywhere,” Noah said.
“It has to,” Ann said. “Grandpa wouldn't have composed a map for no reason.”
“How do you know?” Fred-O asked. “You never met him.”
“Because people just don't make blank maps for fun,” Ann said.
“Actually,” Noah informed Ann. “I've read about people whose hobby is map making and they make fake maps for various reasons -”
“Noah,” Ann rolled her eyes.
“Shall we dig?” Vern put his shovel into the ground. Fred-O stepped as close to Vern as he safely could. There was nothing special about this ground – just an open space in an open field.
“I don't understand why we had to make all those sharp turns,” Lucy said. “Why couldn't we have just walked straight? Unless there had been landmarks at those turns.”
“Well, there most certainly weren't – not even stumps of a dead tree,” Noah said.
“It's not making sense,” Ann said. She was actually starting to sound like she doubted the whole mystery.
But Fred-O was certain they would find something. He kept his eyes on Vern's shovel as if that would somehow help.
Vern was still digging. The ground was hard so it took him a bit to break into it – and then the hole took awhile to grow even a little.
Finally Vern stopped digging. “There's nothing here.” Vern put the shovel on the ground and sat down by it, wiping sweat off his forehead. “I think this was just some silly thing Grandpa did.”
Lucy said, “Well, this is a nice place to have a picnic – the sun feels nice.”
Ann wasn't ready to give up though. Lucy and Vern lay out a blanket as Ann and Noah took the map from Vern and ran back to the shack. Fred-O followed.
“Maybe we need to measure the lines – every eighth of an inch represents a step?”
“Or a mile, or foot, or yard? Ann, we can't know what it stands for at all. And what if a quarter inch or a half inch is the number to gauge it?”
Ann shrugged, “We have to start somewhere.”
And so the three children used Ann's method measuring the lines, using a compass to go straight, and measuring the distance with their steps.
Noah soon gave up after multiple tries, testing out all of his and Ann's theories.
“I think Grandpa just liked playing with minds,” Noah proclaimed sitting between Lucy and Julie.
Fred-O stayed with Ann. He could tell his sister was growing frustrated. “No – it has to be real.” she insisted.
“I think so, too.” Fred-O told her, smiling. He wanted to be encouraging. And he wanted to find treasure, too.
But Ann didn't seem comforted by his support.
“Let's take a break for lunch,” Lucy told everyone.
“I don't want to eat yet – I still have some ideas.”
“No,” Vern added onto Lucy's words. “We'll take a break. It'll refresh our minds, Ann. Maybe after we eat we'll see things clearer.”
Fred-O was glad to stop. He believed the treasure was real. And that Ann and he would find it. But he was hungry, too.
As they ate everyone discussed the details of the map thoroughly. Not that there was much to discuss. Fred-O didn't have much to say – his mouth was much too full of food.
“Normally you can rule out everything that is not possible and be left with a correct solution,” Noah sighed. “Except ruling out leaves you with nothing in this situation.”
Julie and Fred-O finished eating before anyone else. Everyone was too busy talking – and it was all boring. No one was figuring out much of anything. So the two little ones got up and started walking away.
“Keep an eye on Julie,” Lucy called after Fred-O.
“OK,” Fred-O answered. He smiled and took his little sister's hand, walking slowly with her. They went toward Grandpa's shack. Maybe he and Julie could discover the secret. He asked Julie, “Do you want to search for Grandpa's treasure?”
Julie nodded, holding tightly to Fred-O's hand.
They walked in through the shack and Fred-O sat down on the floor to think. He was finding that he couldn't think any clearer than the rest of his siblings. “You have any ideas, Julie?”
Julie ran around the inside of the shack, picking at the small piles of junk, broken chair leg, and old rug.
“No,” she answered.
“Maybe we aren't supposed to start from the front of the cabin,” Fred-O thought out loud. He lifted himself up. “Julie, let's go outside to the back for a second.”
Julie shook her head, “No. I don't want to go outside.”
“Come on – it'll be fun!” Fred-O pulled on her arm, trying to lead her out with him, but she threw herself down onto the floor making herself heavier.
“No,” she said.
Fred-O gave up. “Be good. I'll be just outside.”
Julie ignored him, going back to playing with her findings. She threw the rug over her head, “I'm hiding.”
Fred-O walked around the cabin. There were some trees on one side and behind – but after that the terrain looked just the same as the front. You could go straight for a long time and not come across anything unique.
He could try anyways -
A scream made his thoughts stop and feet start.
Julie!
Fred-O ran as fast as he could back to the shack. As soon as he reached the doorway his eyes searched frantically, but Julie wasn't inside! The shack was empty. He ran back out and all around the shack. “Julie!” He called out.
His little sister wasn't answering.
Fred-O started crying, feeling a sudden tremble overcome him. Lucy would be so mad at him. He had to find Julie – but just as the land went on for a mile in every direction without a path to treasure, so was it empty of a little girl.
Where could she be?
Fred-O wiped his eyes and ran back to where his siblings were picnicking.
They heard him crying and everyone dropped their discussion rising up quickly. Lucy and Vern asked, “What's wrong, Fred-O?”
“I can't find Julie,” tears streamed down his face through his voice. “She's lost.”


Make sure to return the second Monday of next month for the continuing installment of the Lawrence Children! 


Father Tells a Story posted 10/9/17
No More Good-nights posted 11/13/17
Lucy Learns to Live posted 12/11/17
Never Know, Noah posted 1/8/18
Grandpa's Mystery  posted 2/12/18
Ann Finds Answers posted 3/12/18
Vern Lead's An Adventure posted 4/9/18
A Friendly Visit posted 5/14/18
A Real Clue? posted 6/11/18
Fred-O is Frightened  posted 7/9/18
Good Job, Julie! posted 8/13/18
Hello, Life posted 9/10/18

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Love Warms, Stealing Symbols, and Creating Selfies



Love Warms 

The child had discovered many things in her few short years. Tonight she thought of them as she spent her last night wrapped by cold.

Confidence is choosing to not care.
Not caring hardened one, made them as stone.
Stones crumble, with none to keep them from washing away in the storm.
There was no way to shelter oneself from the onslaught of betrayal and treachery one faced from every person that pretended to be friend.

Yet she also knew she could not live much longer. Not without someone to trust, to help her. To show her love’s warmth.

Love must be warm.

She shivered.

“I will if you give me a chance. I love you already.” The voice was distant, as if a memory. But she knew the sound.

She looked about her, hoping to see a face. There were many faces passing by, but none had eyes to see her.

Memories flashed before her eyes. A black book. A man that read words from that book, who spoke in the big, beautiful, warm church. That man did not understand the book’s words. He’d had no time to love her.

But when she heard the words she knew love.

Again the voice spoke to her. She knew it was God. But she wished to know more than His voice. She needed arms to shelter her from the cold world.

“My presence shelters you.”

Oddly enough, His words and presence warmed her. The child closed her eyes, comforted.







Stealing Symbols 

“Your turn,” he says. “Tell me why Christmas is evil.”

I’m happy he’s going to let me explain my side. “You have to understand mythology and ancient history to get a full grasp. I don’t know half as much as I should.”

“Tell me what you know,” he encourages.

“Christmas isn’t Jesus’ birthday. He was born in September. Originally it was a holiday to worship the sun god, not God’s son. And the statue used to depict Baby Jesus is really an idol,” I say this slowly as I try to gather my facts together. “And there’s more. Almost everything Christmas is originated from the pagans.”

“I understand this,”he says. “But things change. When I celebrate Christmas I worship God with what it means to me.”

“What about what it means to God? Do you think that just because it means something different to you it no longer offends Him?”

He shrugs. “Time changes everything. Symbols, practices, they are nothing. Intentions of the heart is what God sees.”

“Such as the rainbow being God’s promise to us, then becoming contorted into gay pride?” I nod as if agreeing, though I do not. “Have you ever noticed what we people do? Christians steal pagan symbols. Pagans steal Christian symbols. Why can’t we all just keep our own!?”

He actually laughs, and I with him.

But part of me feels a little frustrated that he can’t understand what I am trying to say. It matters what Christmas means to God, not us.







Creating Selfies

What do I see?

The only thing one can see when they look into a mirror.

My reflection.

Yet I can change it, make it—me—look just how I want.
Extend a hip.
Smile.
Or maybe don’t smile? That’s in.

My cell phone is is flooded with mirror selfies. Sparkly gold case enclosing the latest, largest iPhone. All a part of the look I’m creating to showcase me.

Stray hair falls through my eyes. That’s a good sign, right? Shows that I’m not completely perfect, even though I hope this selfie says otherwise.

What am I trying to say? I don’t really know... So, I add an inspirational quote. The type that sounds good but if you really sat down to think about it, you’d realize it’s baloney.

Almost done.

I’ve create the me I want people to see. But that’s not all... I now have to decide which filter will best accent my features.

And then to make it less “me” focused: the quote.

Posted!

Likes may tumble in now. I’m inspiring the world with a reflection I’ve created of myself.

But... something’s missing. People see me.

But they don’t.

And it’s my fault.

I don’t want them seeing the real me. I want this to be the real me. Yet I want the real me to be loved, not this false reflection.

So, what do I do?
I start to create another selfie.


I hope you enjoyed today's flash fiction. Which one is your favorite? 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Update on Boycotting American Girl Doll for Supporting Abortion

Back in this post I shared with you all how I bought my first AG doll through Craigslist, and how I'd refused to buy from them ever since I was nine years old because I'd heard they supported abortion.

Well, my cousin asked me how I knew that they supported abortion, or if it was just a rumor. Her mom, my aunt, didn't remember telling me. And no amount of words could prod their memories or change mine... haha.

We had a fun family argument about it, which resulted with me calling the company.

And so the following fun resulted:


Call #1
me: Hello, I have an unusual question, but do you all support abortion?
lady: *sounding defensive* I can't answer that.
me: Is there someone that can?
lady: *gives me another number to call*


Call #2
me: Hello, I was wondering if you could answer a question about American Girl. Do you all support abortion?
Guy: Uhh... I'm not going to answer that.
Me: I was told if I called here I could get an answer.
Guy: *pause* Let me put you on hold

I was on hold for ten seconds and then he hung up on me.


Call #3:
(I called again, of course)
Me: *rambling on for a bit, trying to present the question "do you support abortion" less awkwardly.
Lady: We don't take a stance on that. We don't support them, we don't not support them.



Oooooohhkaayyy. So that was a really vague answer. And totally didn't explain why so many people have boycotted AG for supporting abortion. A boycott this big doesn't just happen.

So I decided to do some research .

Through online googling I discovered that in 2005 a pro-life group spread a boycott against American Girl for funding a company called Girl Inc. that supported abortion.

American Girl made bracelets, where 70% of the profits went to Girl Inc. and they were giving an additional $50,000. Girls Inc. is a pro-lesbian, pro-abortion company.

Funny thing, 2005 would have been the year I was going to order my doll then didn't because I'd heard from an aunt (I think) that they supported abortion. So this all adds up with what I remember.

According to the article I linked above, the writer believed American Girl was taking the boycott seriously. And so they encouraged people to keep up the good work.

After all this, I called again, this time trying a new approach. You know me... I was going to get the facts, even if I had to strangle it out of AG ;D


Call #4
Me: Hello, I was wondering if you all support Girls Inc. (see I didn't say abortion this time!)
Lady: We don't. We had one campaign with them that ran in 2005. Since then we've never done anything like that again.
Me: So you have not had a campaign like that or given money away to places of any sort again?
Lady: Correct, it was a one time thing.
Me: Oh, OK. Thanks. Have you heard the rumor that you all support abortion?
Lady: *laughs* Yes, I have. It was stemmed from that. But, we don't support abortion.
Me: So, to be clear, you don't support abortion nor homosexuality?
Lady: correct.

Well, that conversation definitely went better. Lady wasn't defensive or hesitant... helps having informed questions ;)



So, all you people that boycott AG... it's OK to buy from them.

But I'm still not planning on it, haha! I have my doll. I not longer like their books - they are so feministic! In fact maybe I should write a whole post on why I no longer read their books. What do you think? Write, yea or nay?

And most of all because of that nine-year old experience I have learned how to save my money, how to spend it... and how to not spend it. And to be honest, there are many, many better ways to spend my money right now ;D 


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Inevitably Selfish, Loose Pain, and If A Guy Changes





Inevitably Selfish 

“To be whole is to be broken. To be connected is to be separated. One must know madness to 
understand this, and all that dwells deeper inside the mind.” The professor smiled toward his students. 

Vann winced. To him that smile felt wrong, evil. He raised his hand. 

“Yes, Vann?” The professor sighed, as if he'd rather not hear Vann’s voice. Vann already had a reputation, after just three classes. 

Vann’s seat mate, Maggie, elbowed his ribs. “You’ve got him worried.” 

Vann ignored her. “It sounds to me as if you are proposing a form of selfishness? One that leads the searcher down a path of loneliness.” 

The professor gritted his teeth, smiling. “First I'll ask you each a question. Tell me, one of you that is not hurt by another? Who is not deep down weighed by past wrongs? Who cannot grasp the future because one from the past holds you captive?” 

Vann did not answer, could not. 

“Deep down we cannot deny the truth: we are each selfish, seeking to preserve our sanity. The fight is taxing. You will be broken. You’ll see pain. You will end life alone, dead. And, so, to end the paralysis you embrace the inevitable: it becomes nothing.” 

Vann wanted to argue. Wanted to say this wasn't true. But his own bitterness held him silent a moment. The moment felt too long. “What if I refuse ? What if I love?” 

The professor smiled. “You will fail. All do.”







Loose Pain

Georgie let her dripping hair fall toward the sand, shaking water loose. Deep down she wished her tears could fall so easily. 

“Pretty rough out there, huh?” 

Georgie jerked upright, tossing her hair behind her. “Uh... hi?” 

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you.” The young man stood too close to her. Close enough to read her thoughts, know what she wanted to forget. 

Georgie looked over the ocean she’d emerged from. It didn’t look kind. The sky was grey. The waters rushed, wave over wave, troubled by its own winds. It was not a time for swimming, and she was apart of the reason. 

“Are you OK?” 

Georgie had forgotten the man. She turned back to him, wishing her eyes would not mimic the confused chaos of the ocean. “Excuse me?” 

“You were just in the ocean... at first I thought you were drowning.” 

“Drowning? No, I was... swimming.” 

The man laughed. “It’s not really a place to swim right now... do you live close?” 

She needed to go. His questions would start to pry deeper. The pain would explode if he did so. Or worse yet—the whole world would know. 

“Yeah... I know how to deal with a small storm. Thanks for your concern.” Georgie pushed past the man, starting off in a jog. 

“Wait!” 

But she ignored his voice. She had to escape this reality she’d uncovered... the secrets of her own soul must remain trapped. She locked away the raging storm behind her tight, dry eyes.









If A Guy Changes

They say a girl can’t change a guy. I always knew this to be true. Yet I couldn’t help loving you, hoping you’d change anyways. 

For me. 

Can’t a guy change for a girl? 

I was stupid falling for a guy like you. But I loved you, and all you could be. Yet you never changed, despite how many times you said, “I love you.” 

And my love wasn’t strong enough to move you to action. 

Still I couldn’t say goodbye to you. I couldn’t let us end. I couldn’t stop hoping for you—I still hope.
I couldn’t marry you. 

We were stuck. 

Me hoping for better, you unmotivated. 

You said, “You’re better off here with me. You need me, admit it.” 

I saw your tears. I knew I needed you. But I also needed you to be more. 
Turmoil raged within me even as I knew what I must do. 

I let you go. 

It hurts so much. Even harder is knowing you didn’t understand, couldn’t. I love you, yet you knew not just how much. 

We said goodbye. But I never said goodbye to hope. 

Yes, I can’t change you, but I’ll never stop hoping you’ll change for me. 

Am I enough?



Love to hear your thoughts! And which one is

 your favorite? 


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I Have It All Figured Out (And You Can, Too!)



Reasons I know I have it (life) all figured out and I'm the last living, sane, human (on Earth):


  • I know what I want to do with my life (I still have to do most of it as I haven't died yet).
  • I constantly realize everyone else is a stupid idiot. Especially while I'm driving.
  • I follow my head rather than my heart.
  • I know what other people should do to stop being stupid (obviously). I'd make a great world dominator. 
  • I laugh more than most people.
  • I drink water (most people drink soda... or coffee)
  • I don't even need coffee.
  • I actually enjoy life most of the time. I think that's a plus. 
  • I don't really care what other's think. That doesn't really matter.
  • I thrive while most people stress. Not because most people stress, but just because I'm good with stress.
  • I like adulting, though I hate the word.
  • I wouldn't move to another planet if it were an option. I'm satisfied with the world God gave me. Though I think He's OK with the changes I want to make... 
  • I like business and could run one successfully since I understand money's #1 purpose is to be spent. 
  • Everyone constantly tells me, "Keturah, you really have your life together."
  • I constantly tell everyone, "I have my life figured out."
  • I see and I know.
  • I know and I do.
  • I think as I do and I never regret.
  • Regret is a waste of time. 
  • I would make a good world-wide Queen. 
  • I understand idiots. I do not pity them. 
  • I love to laugh. And to smile.
  • I am happy with most of my selfies. I don't worry about the selfies I'm not happy with.
  • Anxiety is for other people.
  • I don't need a lot of clothes to be happy.
  • I do need a lot of books, though.
  • Food is a necessary evil I try to do without. 85% chocolate is my luxury.
  • Life is ideas. Ideas are life. 
  • Have the right ideas are you won't be an idiot.
  • Most people have the wrong ideas. Thus the #stupidIdiot movement is prolonged. 
  • Most necessities are a matter of cultural expectations. I need next to nothing. 
  • I don't like fast food because I chose to believe that.
  • I believe something and then I like/ hate according to that belief. This applies with my religion, work, food, and friends.
  • I love work. #workaholic. 
  • I am confident.
  • I am content.
  • I choose to continue being confident and content.
  • Depression sneaks up on the best of us, but I choose to run away every time as we don't get a long too well.
  • I sleep at night.
  • I live in the daytime.
  • I rarely dream when I sleep. If I do and they threaten to turn bad I wake up and rewrite my dream. I've never had a nightmare because I don't allow horror in my rewrites. 
  • I'm aware that most of the world doesn't understand me and I don't care.
  • I've experienced a lot, traveled a ton, know many people, attended various denominations. I strongly believe this experience has shaped my path to figuring out life. But I'm also certain I was just born smart.
  • If I'm wrong on any of these points (which I strongly doubt) I'm still confident I have life figured out. That confidence is really all I need.



And what of you? Do you have life figured out? If so please share, so that those who don't may learn from both of us! 
Note: this is another of my satire posts. So, please share... and laugh! 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

FLASH FICTION: "I Have A Secret", "Sibling Affirmation", and "Innocently Dead"

Note: I've decided to start posting flash fiction every Saturday, as I've been writing a 250 word short story every week for a contest I'm a part of! I have a lot of tales to share, so for now I'll be posting three every Saturday. Eventually I'll post only one. Enjoy!




I Have A Secret

“Hey, you.” 

I look around. The sidewalk is crowded with bums and hippies, a few “decent” folk trying to make their way. I know nobody. I keep walking. 

“Wait! I was talking to you.” Somebody pulls on my sleeve, a young girl, maybe eight? 

“What do you want?” 

“Nothing. I just want you to sit by me.” 

I stifle a laugh. 

“I have a secret - I'll say it out loud to you if you sit by me.” 

“I'm kinda busy kid,” I pull my phone out of my pocket to check the time. If I don't hurry I'll be late for work. 

“That's what everyone says,” the kid’s eyes fall. 

Something melts inside of me. “Where do you want to sit?” 

A smile lights up the kid's face as she drags me to a bench. Surprisingly no one else is on it. 

“So what's your secret?” It's a good thing my boss is my uncle. I have no fear of being fired. Yet I hate being late. 

“Sit! And talk to me first!” I oblige. Except I don't talk - she does. “I always wanted a friend - almost as bad as parents. But I know you can't have a friend without a secret - you have to have secrets to tell best friends.” 

“Oh?” 

“And now I've found a friend!” Her smile is too big. I suddenly know I won't be going to work alone. 

“What's your secret, kid?” 

She whispers, “I'm still trying to think of it." 






Sibling Affirmation

“That's what everyone says.” 

“Not me,” he replied. She looked at him, doubt displayed in her wide eyes. “Hey, I'm just saying you can try. Or you can just keep complaining. Seriously, though. Who cares what everyone else says?” 

“I do,” she admitted. 

“Obviously.” Sarcasm dropped from his voice. “But that's gotta change.” 

Some of her fears dissolved as she smiled. “Says who?” 

“Says me. Now just submit that stupid story of yours. It's really good. I like it. So will someone else.” 

She smiled again. “See! Even you think it's stupid.” 

He laughed, “Girl! Do I need to tell you again? It's not stupid. I don't care what others have told you. Send it in. And just have faith. You work? So you submit. It's the process.” 

“Fine.” Her smile had become a goofy grin. 

“Fine? Really?” He appeared very surprised to have won the argument. 

“Actually,” her eyes twisted with laughter. “I hit send several minutes ago… I just wanted to hear you say something good about it.” 

“Sometimes I don't like the fact you're my sister.” 





Innocently Dead

I’m a danger to God and people, and I don't even know how I became so.” The girl tells her friend. They both shiver as they cuddle to together in their small prison cell. 

“No your not. And neither am I. We are innocent. Besides nothing is dangerous to God.” 

“Do you think we're actually innocent, Penny?” 

“I know it,” Penny declared. “Don't worry, Bethany.” 

Bethany shivered more. So did Penny. It was too cold for two fifteen year old girls. 

“How can you be certain?” 

“Did you ever worship Satan?” 

“I don't think so… but-“ 

“No!” Penny broke into Bethany's words. “We are innocent. We never chose to rebel against God.” 

Noise broke through the dungeon. “Bring those witches out! Burn them before the sun sets.” 

“I'm scared, Penny.” 

“Me too.” 

“Why won't they believe us?” 

“They are trapped by fear.” 

The girls were tied to stakes. The wood around their feet was already smoking. Penny tried to speak to defend herself and her friend, but none would hear their testimony. 

Bethany whimpered. She prayed inside, asking God to clear her name even if He chose to not save her. The girls were surrounded by hate, for a supposed crime. 

They were too young to die, but neither fear nor fire cared. The fire grew, the girls’ heads drooped, and not one person felt remorse. 

Life had been stolen, for not one person present knew how to love

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Leviathan: Book Release and Author Interview!




Are sea monsters a real thing? What about fire-breathing dragons? According to the Bible, there is a fire-breathing sea creature who really existed: the leviathan. Amanda Tero brings this dragon to life in her newest short story, "Quest for Leviathan." Join Anath and his crew of ninety-nine rowers as they face the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and the power of Leviathan. 

Leviathan took the life of his father. Anath has spent three years preparing for the voyage that will end the threat of Leviathan. Yet as the Valor launches into the depths of the Mediterranean, an inward quest also begins, taking Anath to depths he is not willing to face.

Purchase an e-copy on Amazon or order a paperback. Add to your Goodreads shelf.



Giveaway!

Amanda is giving away TWO print copies of "Quest for Leviathan" to one winner -- one for you, and one for your friend!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway




And now I have a special interview with the author ;D 
Welcome! Please introduce yourself, saying nothing about writing or books ;)
Hi Keturah! Thank you very much for having me stop by your blog! Well, since I’m to introduce myself without the two words that you forbade me to say… I’m actually primarily a musician, and can talk for just as many hours on the subject of music as the forbidden topic. ;) So yes, my life is very interesting! I currently teach piano and violin, and in the fall I will be attending college for the first time to pursue an associate’s degree in piano performance. My other passion is the Word of God. I truly love spending time in the Bible, studying it, preparing for Bible classes with “my kiddos” on Wednesday night, and sharing Scripture with others. I’m fifth-born of twelve children and love living in a big family. I’m not a girly-girl and really despise shopping unless it’s for something that is bound with a lot of paper and words in between (which I shall not say anything about, since it’s forbidden). But that’s enough of an intro to get things started.

Now tell us about what you write and why you write!
Ah! Writing! My other passion. I primarily write for children/teens, because I refuse to put questionable content on my pages. I do understand that there are those who can be ministered to in difficult topics, but that’s not what I feel called to write. Words are definitely something that God has put inside of me, as well as the desire to teach His truths. Stories are just another fantastic avenue to proclaim God’s Word!

Why did you choose to write this short story?
I originally got the idea for “Quest for Leviathan” while reading Job. It actually started with this exact thought: “A boy whose father was killed by Leviathan. He is angry at L, and he is angry at God—yet just like Job needed to realize the power of God, so does he.” For me, some ideas are novel-length, some novella-length, and some short-story length. “Quest for Leviathan,” while I could have put more meat on the bones, was just a short-story length idea to me. I wrote until all of my ideas were wrapped up.

Please share a fun random fact!
Ooh, I’m the Queen of Random (or maybe just a princess…). But I’ll stick to a random fact about my
story. I first fell in love with the trireme by watching the 1959 Ben-Hur when I was a pre-teen. Little did I know that it would be the same type of vessel that I’d use in a story years later!

What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?
This one is tough! Most of the time, my favorites switch depending on what I’m going through, and what I need to read. I love the Proverbs and try to read one chapter each day. I also get a lot of help from Paul’s letters. At the same time, there is such depth and beauty in books like Deuteronomy, Isaiah, the minor prophets, and various New Testament books.

What sort of people will love your story?
I hope that it will grab the attention of early-teen boys, though anyone who loves adventure and daring ventures should like it as well.

What’s something exciting that happened to you during this writing process?
It is illustrated! I can’t express how excited that made me! Natalie is one of my music students as well as a good friend. I had seen some of her doodlings on her social media, and thought that Leviathan would be a good match for her talent. Sure enough, she did a smashing job!
Yes, guys, the illustrations are AMAZING! ~ Keturah

Where can people connect with you?
I’m on several social media platforms. Here’s an easy list:
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Website: https://amandatero.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/amandateroauthor/
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/
Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/amandaruthtero/
Blog:www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero

Thank you for joining us today, and have a blessed day!
Thank you, Keturah! It’s been fun!


About the Author: Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of  publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.




If you all want to see what I think of this book I posted my thoughts on Goodreads


June 8 – With a Joyful Noise (Release Day Post)
              Resting Life (Spotlight, Review)
             The World of the Writer (Review)
             Authoring Arrowheads (Review)
             Purely by Faith Review (Review, Interview)
June 9 – Victoria’s Book Nook (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
             Bekah’s Books (Spotlight, Review, Interview)
June 11 – Clothed with Scarlet (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
             Reveries Reviews (Review)
June 12 – Chosen Vessels (Spotlight, Review)
             My Purple Pen (Review)
             Read Another Page (Review)
June 13 – Once Upon an Ordinary (Review)
             Maidens for Modesty (Review)
             Yahweh Sisters (Review)
June 14 – Honey Rock Hills (Review)
             Life of Heritage Corner (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
             Kaylee’s Kind of Writes (Review, Interview)
June 15 – The Red-Hooded Writer (Review)
             Blossoms and Blessings (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
             Lit Aflame (Review, Interview)
June 16 – The Left-Handed Typist (Review)
             Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review, Interview, Giveaway)
June 18 – Great Books for God’s Girls (Review, Interview)
             Peculiar Miss Darcy (Character Interview)
June 19 – Done in Love (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
             Creating Romance (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 20 – Keturah’s Korner (Review, Interview)
             Rock and Minerals 4 Him (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 21 – A Baker’s Perspective (Review, Giveaway, Character Spotlight)
             Christian Author: A.M. Heath (Review, Interview)
             Views from the Window Friend (Review)
             Hunting for Truth (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 23 – Reading on the Edge (Spotlight)
             Summer Snowflakes (Review, Giveaway)

June 25 – With a Joyful Noise (Giveaway Winner Announced)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...