Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hey, I'm 21 ;D

So, I don't usually do birthday posts...

But 21 is supposed to be a special age, so why not?

On Monday I had my 21st birthday.

To tell the truth I haven't been that excited about my birthday. I could care less about being 21 (it's supposed to be some sort of magic number???)

The only ages I actually ever looked forward to growing up were 17 and 20. 17 because it was my golden birthday, and 20 because I would no longer be a teenager

{I never liked being a teenager and being associated with the drama and stupidity of that age ;p}

17 was a good year. I started working many of my first jobs and started getting out more and experiencing life and what I wanted to do. It was a great year.

20 was (has been weird). I mean, there's been a lot of good.

But a lot of bad, too.

I finally went in and got my driver's license. I was baptized :D Friendships were created and strengthened. I worked a lot, and I've seen my writing do amazing things this last year.

But my life also took a drastic turn two or three times. A really special friendship ended poorly. An uncle of mine died. And one of my best friends isn't allowed to speak to me currently. Plus because of the drastic life changes I'm kinda unsure what I'm supposed to be doing next - I almost feel as if I'm floating the summer away on my tears ;p 

My uncle that died (a picture of us when I was little)

Which isn't bad - except I've always known what I wanted, what to do, and such. And now suddenly I am 21 and have no idea. My goal-driven, love-life, colorful nature seems to be on hold right now. And it seems everyone else knows better than me (too many conflicting "you-must-do-this-to-lead-a-good-life-")

I must admit I want to rebel against all of it.

I don't have to conform to any one's standards of success. I am educated because I study, not because I pay thousands ($) for a degree. Success isn't measured by what sort of job I have, but how well I do it and what I bring from it (I'm a house-cleaner and writer. Two jobs that are looked down upon. But I wouldn't be a doctor or professor or anything in trade. I love my jobs and I make more than I need). 

My life isn't defined by my relationship status (that's why the public world doesn't get to know details like that on facebook or other social media). 

My life isn't defined by the way I dress (it's me - who gets to tell me what is acceptable or not just because something is considered fashionable???).

My life isn't defined by how I look, what I weigh, what I eat (it's funny how each decade changes drastically in what the ideal woman looks like ;p). 

My life isn't defined by anything but who I am.

True, who I am will be reflected in what I do, who I am with, and even how I dress and eat. But those things alone are not what makes ME.

I am who I am in God. 

No-one else.

And right now that's the only stability I have in life. 

A looming future, vast in options and paths, is suddenly opened up before me. 

And the only thing I have that is not failing me is God.

People are stupid and selfish, I've discovered. It's really hard to find someone that's truly a friend. Sure, many say they are. But only the test of time and trials prove the truth: many will run and hide when you truly need them.

Many are hypocrites. Many Christians - "I believe in God." but how many of you confessing Christians truly love any one enough to sacrifice even a little of your life to follow the commandments of Jesus (Yeshua) to love ALL?

I've met few.

How many Christians (or even people) are willing to love another selflessly? Show loyalty and friendship past the point of fair? How many people are willing to stop pursuing self and all the worldly ideas of do-what's-best-for-me and I-just-need-to-discover-who-I-am?

So many lies. And even supposedly Christians are clinging onto the love-me-movement as if life is all about treat-ME-fair.

I've witnessed so much hate this last couple of years.

And it's depressing. 

What sort of future do any of us HAVE???

I even wonder why God still lets us live - why so many want to live in such a way.

I am 21. I have my whole life before me.

But all I feel is hurt. All I see is stupidity. I am trying to not give into bitterness, but, man, is it hard. I want to smile. I still love laughing. I even still stand up for and love the people that have hurt me the worst. But it's so hard to be content in a world that hates.

I am no feminist, but I will stand up for the woman being torn down because of how her body does or doesn't look. I am frustrated with how our culture portrays women in film and in fashion. We are more than sex objects. We are more than our bodies. I am frustrated even at how many men treat me (with too much "eyes" or with none at all).

But even on that note, I am frustrated with how many women treat men. Grouping all men in one category as hateful men that can't see women for who they are. That is just as wrong.

Both femininity and masculinity are dying, being stripped away. Women are told to dress to please, not to be pretty. Men are told to remain silent (where are our courageous leaders???)

Hate is happening on both sides.

Just as it is wrong for a white man to hate a black man, or a black man to hate a white man.

Where is kindness? Love? Commitment?

Yes - so I am a little frustrated at the future I have to work with.

But I also have hope.

I am being surprised that there are those who are proving through the test of time to be lovers of God and ALL people.

And when I mean all people this includes women, men, babies, Islamics, blacks, Native Americans, whites, and the list goes on. And I am not saying to condone anything against God, but to love in the way God wants us to, void of personal bias. We can still love as we stay standing in the ways of God's desires.

And so, these are my thoughts entering 21.

Trying to move on from the past. Trying to learn how to truly smile again with out bitterness. Trying to not hate those I want to love. Trying to love those I want to hate. Trying to know which path God wants me to step on.

Also, to end this on a happy note, I do have some plans for this summer and for this blog.

Life plans: End of this month I am going to my first writer's conference!!!!! I may be moving out from home this fall. Both of these are big things. Still have to see what happens though - I really am drifting this summer through as I re-find purpose and direction. But I have some ideas swimming around my head - hopefully some of them will find a way out to working out in my life ;)

Blog plans: I am working on a short story for a serial on this blog. Once it is done it will be posted regularly every Saturday or every other. Still deciding. Hoping to have this done by October. Also, I am working on a series for my regular postings. This will be about life and writing lessons I am learning through the ideas I see expressed in God's nature following the theme of my prairie post. One will be about Rainbows and Storms, another about Sunsets. And there will be others, of course. These will probably be showing up around September. 

Writing plans: I am almost done with my second novel. Once that is done and beta readers are taken care of I will devote a lot of time to improving blog posts. I will also be started a new novel (of which I am excited about!). I am also hoping to start pursuing publication seriously as I feel my second novel should see the world face to face.

I do write, a lot > here's the proof 

Travel plans: I plan to go the writer's conference end of July. And I hope to see a friend in Idaho. And another in a town a couple hours away. And I really want to visit my TN friends, and my good friend Mary in KY - but these last two most likely won't happen until next year or so. I also have some out of country plans (in the works), but we shall see. To be honest, I am very tired of traveling. But it seems to be a huge part of what God has for me in life right now.

Back in June when I did a short road trip in WA

Work plans: I love housecleaning. I make more money than I would anywhere else I could get a job, plus I enjoy the work (I like being active) and it's just a great line of work. I love the people I clean for. Even if I move this fall I will continue housecleaning. I would also love to take on some tutoring positions and such ;) I have also been doing a lot of custom sewing.

When I went to see one of my friend and her boyfriend - we had to get a goofy picture :) 

Education plans: I love learning, but college does not seem to be in my near future life. I am still studying. I have been doing well with learning German. I have been going through this English course that is fun. I received my High Set (MT equivalent of GED). I have been doing great studying other books and subjects and reading ancient awesome things ;) Love podcasts, lectures (I go to many whenever I can), and such. 

When I decided to do a ten mile round walk in the 100 degree heat of day to and from town ;p 

Well, people - I do think an update on the author of this blog was overdue.

I hope it wasn't too long, or boring, or even depressing. I promise I am trying to not change drastically from all that's been happening - I want to make sure my disposition remains true to the colors of this blog ;p

Also, on a fun note, I learned two new words recently. One is scintillating. It basically is an adjective that means sparkling. The other is much more fun - defenestrate. A verb that means to throw someone out a window.

Sometimes I feel if all stupid idiots would be defenestrated the world would be much better (don't want them to die, just some sense shaken into them ;D)

So - now you all can tell me happy birthday and to have a blessed adult life. Also, I didn't buy any beer ;) Like, I've made it very clear, I'm not for conforming. I'd rather buy the stuff the day after just to prove my point :D 

Haha - Just kidding ;p 

Confession: I've always said I dislike sunglasses, but then realized I need a pair for driving to work ;p Also, to lessen eye strain (life, stress, etc) I bought a pair of computer glassed ;D

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How Bad Can I Be?: Lyrics That Make You Go "Wow!"

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just following my destiny
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? How bad can I possibly be?

Well, there's a principal of nature (principal of nature)
That almost every creature knows
Called survival of the fittest (survival of the fittest)
And check it this is how it goes
The animal that is has got to scratch and bite and claw and bite and punch
And the animal that doesn't (well the animal that doesn't) winds up
Someone else's lu-lu-lu-lu-unch! (I'm just saying')

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just following my destiny
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? How bad can I possibly be?

Well, there's a principal of business (principal of business)
And everybody knows his sound
He says the people with the money (people with the money)
Makes the money-lovin' world go 'round!
So I bigger in my company, I bigger in my factory, I bigger in my corporate size!
Everybody out there take care if yours and me?
I'll take care of mine, mine, mine, mine, mine! (Shake that bottom line!)
Let me hear you say 'smogulous smoke' (smogulous smoke)
Schloppity schlop (schloppity schlop)
Complain all you want, it's never ever, ever, ever gonna stop

Come on how bad can I possibly be?

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just building the economy
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? Just look at me pettin' this puppy
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? A portion of proceeds goes to charity!
How ba-a-a-ad can I be? How bad can I possibly be? Let's see!

All the customers are flying!

(How ba-a-a-ad can I be?) All the money's multiplying!
(How ba-a-a-ad can I be?) And the PR people are lying!
(How ba-a-a-ad can I be?) And the lawyers are denying!
(How ba-a-a-ad can I be?) Who cares if a few trees are dying?

(How ba-a-a-ad can I be?) This is oh so gratifying!

How bad? How bad can this possibly be?

Songwriters: Allan Grigg / John James Powell / Cinco Paul
How Bad Can I Be? lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

I sometimes say animated movies are my favorite kind of movie.


Because they can have so much to them. So much art, talent, depth, plot, emotion, thought, and they can quite often have a meaning and moral beyond one's expectations. 

I feel more satisfied with many animated movies than brainless action or drama flicks. 

I feel as if something beneficial was added to me. 

Something from which I can grow.

I watched the Lorax because I needed something light and colorful, something to make me laugh.

I thought this would do the trick.

It did - and beyond.

It was a beautiful story of choices.

Choices were made. Some were good. Some were very bad.

From an outsider's eyes, some of the bad choices looked very good and right - I mean, we do after all have the right to do what we want.

But just because one has the right to make a choice, and it's not technically wrong, does that make it good???

Betrayal can still be real. Hurt, pain, rejection. These things are never good, no matter the level of right you think you may have.

The high point of the movie was the song.


Just look at some of those lines:

How bad can I be? I'm just doing what comes naturally
How bad can I be? I'm just following my destiny

Seriously, how many times do we say these words, internally and externally???

We are just doing what is according to our nature, who we are.

We are told following our destiny is good. Be you. Be natural. Find and follow your destiny.

It's not bad.

Or is it?

And the second verse: The logic. "Well, if I don't, someone else will. It's the way of the world. Rise above or be trampled by the one that does."

And then this:

How bad can I be? Just look at me petting this puppy
How bad can I be? A portion of proceeds goes to charity!

"Let's make it all look good by doing some good. Makes me feel good, makes another think I'm good, thus again makes me feel good."

(How bad can I be?) And the lawyers are denying!

"What I'm doing can't be bad. Look, even the world says it's bad!!! Proven innocent - I can't be bad?"

This is oh so gratifying! 
How bad? How bad can this possibly be?

"Seriously. I  feel good. So, it can't be bad?"

Wow. I mean...this song is so true.

Of course the context of the story is off track from what I'm saying (a little). There were these cartoonish trees that made for awesome yarn. And the main guy decided to make a business of it AFTER promising his animal friends he wouldn't.

He destroyed their home.

He lied to and betrayed his friends.

And made his choices and life about him.

Yet, this song really isn't about being a tree-hugger (which I'm not for), as some might suggest. 

It's about self-denial...doing what you want for your gain at another's expense and saying it's OK because it's not wrong in anyone's eyes. 

It's your life. Your choices.

So, you have every right to do what you have done - it's the other person's problem if they take offense.

But this is not a good mindset at all. 

We are to love our neighbor as ourselves:
Mark 12:30-31 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

We are to not cause unnecessary offense:
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

It's not about us, or our rights, or our choices. It's about God's love in us, working out actions lead by love. We will do what is above right. Not what is right for us:
1 John 3: 16-17 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

"How bad can I be", should never be our question. We should not be asking, "What can I get away with to do what I want." 

We should be striving to love, help, sacrifice. 

The question should be, "What else can I do to show you that I love you?"

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Standing Against Society's Expectations

Do you ever wonder what you are supposed to do with your life? How to live it? Honor and respect those that you should, balancing between doing what you should and what others (family, friends, and even the world) think you should?

You don't want to be a bum.

You want a successful life.

But who gets to decide what is successful?

Who decides what makes one educated and accomplished? By whose standards are you going to pursue a meaningful life?

Even those of us that will answer "God's" still have more than enough choices.

This world is not an easy place to live.

And I realize this more and more each passing year.

People are so caught up in a struggle of surviving that most can't breathe. But we are told we have no other choice.

Society's Plan

We must graduate from the designated 12 years of school, which includes all the subjects that they feel are necessary for every individual to know. Then we must go to a university and get some sort of degree – it doesn't really matter if we love what we are studying, or even if it's what God has called us to. 

What matters is if this degree will make us successful. In man's-eyes-successful.

Will we be able to have money, social status, houses, cars, foods, vacations, and so many other things that make up the standard, perfect life?

And once we have been established in this college career, it's then that we can consider marrying – dating before hand was acceptable. 

But it was never serious. And there was a high chance that each of us are responsible for hurting (and being hurt) by many people. But that doesn't really matter...because society has completely downsized the importance of relationships in our lives.

They don't matter. Other people really don't matter. Just being successful matters. 

Career over marriage, money over family. 
Things over healthy desires.

After the marriage stage of life, it is then acceptable to have a couple kids. But not too many. You want to be able to afford your two cars (or more), their expensive clothes, your special foods, daycare, schooling, your house, all the taxes and insurances and health care.

You really can't afford to have more than two or three kids – that is if you want to raise them correctly.

After that you will live a crazy, stressed-out life. Husband and wife always on the go between their different jobs. Kids at school - and needing to be taken places: sports, ballet, swimming lessons... And the list for their activities never end.

Mom is overtaxed trying to take kids where they need to be, keeping up her job, and hoping she has time to put the house in order. Maybe even cook a meal every now and then.

Dad is overworked with stress from the family, stress from work, stress from the multiple bills, and he can find no outlet in his stress – as the whole world is too busy and stressed. He will most likely resort to things like excessive drinking and porn.

Once the kids are grown and starting out on their own life set up by society's standards, the parents find they are still entrapped by their work and separate social lives.

Finally. Finally. They get to retire. But by that point the two have forgotten how to live together. Divorce may follow. Or just the continuance of separate lives.

And so they grow old and die, having lived a successful life.

They die happy? – no, dissatisfied.

And so, life ends. Successfully. 

Success was worth it all. The large beautiful casket proved everything.

Who truly thinks that life looks appealing? Sure I dramatized it a little…yet, there really wasn't that much to add, was there?

I rebel against such a life. 

Against the standards and expectations of others'.

I do not need another telling me if I am successful or educated or living well above the poverty level.

In fact, I wonder if this whole poverty-successful level is part of the gimmick.

Who cares if we don't have more than one car? Or if we don't have a million unnecessary bills? Who cares if our kids' clothes look decent instead of stylish? Or that we don't have the social life? Or if the mom doesn't work? Or if the dad has a honest, hardworking job that pays less than what is t he thought should be earning?

What is so wrong with all that?

Why is it that those that choose the better life are looked down upon? And to even choose the better life, you are told things like:

“Don't waste your talents. You could do so much.” … if you went to college. Like, if I am smart, why do I need a bunch of idiots educating me while taking piles of my money? 

“Don't do this thing. Sure you think you love it, but passions change. Just take some time to get to know yourself.” Of course the best way to do that is by going to college, or moving out, or getting some sort of good job. Or experimenting and dabbling in stupidity. 

Is it just me, or does anyone else see how messed up our lives are?

Here are some ways I plan to rebel against the standards set up by this world.

Life: The Path I Take

18 year old's are not old enough to make rational decisions. And they know this. I knew this when I was 18.

I had originally planned to attend college when I was 18. But then I realized that I wasn't sure I wanted to – or that I needed a degree to do any of what I wanted to do.

I was uncertain and for once saw just how big the world was and how my small decisions weren't that small. 

Most kids would have just jumped into school regardless of being unsure, as that's what their parents are expected to make sure they do.

Because, after all, getting in debt for a BA toward nothing is waaaayyyyy better than doing nothing.

Things worked out for me to go volunteer at a place called Above Rubies. There I learned to live on my own, work a 9-5 job, interact with people that weren't my family. Do things because I believed them. And be faced with countless choices and decisions.

Most of which I have no regrets from.

It was a perfect setting for an 18 year old. It helped me mature and grow in confidence with out throwing me into the atmosphere of college that ruins so many young girls.

We were never meant to face so many temptations, trials, and ideas all at once at such a young age. It is too much for the mind and emotions. And more than likely most will cave in and leave behind all signs of a stable life.

I know few girls that have walked out of a secular college and still hold onto half the decency she did before entering. And many of the guys I know seem equally disillusioned with life and beliefs toward God and relationships.

Many will completely reject God with out the right group of friends – it can be hard to find good friends when you are in such a new and terrifying environment. Not impossible, for I do know of people that succeeded in having good friends through out their college years. But I know more that did not succeed here.

Now, a couple years later after Above Rubies, I am still needing to decide what to do with my life.

I still have the option to attend school.

I know I could get a degree in many things. I could very easily have a successful life – all I need do is start playing the game.

I love learning. I love people. I would most likely thrive in such a place.

But is it what I really want?

Most importantly, is it what God wants of me?

But more than that what I want, I can tell you what I don't want.

1. I don't want to work 9-5 job. 

Working at Above Rubies showed me just how draining such work can be. And not all that satisfying.

One of my good friends just told me recently that she feels she is 9-5ing her life away. I totally sympathize. Those sort of jobs do take your life away...unless you just love the sort of job those hours entail, I do not think they are for most people.

And they aren't good for you in many ways. Health (no exercise and plenty of opportunity for snacking). Mentality. Spirituality (it's funny how those jobs can drain you so much). And it even takes away from your relationships. 

But, let me clarify: I am not against working hard. 

Or working for 8 hours, 5 days a week. I am against the structure of the whole thing. I would rather work 10 hours every day, every week doing something worthwhile than wasting away my hours doing nothing lasting for some other person.

But that doesn’t mean I wouldn't do it. Some times necessity and practicality must come over desires.

2. I don't want a career doing what I love according to another's standards.

I would love to be a history teacher – but I do not want to be told what to teach. So, why even get a degree? I know I do not want to teach in any school - public or private. I also know that everything that I could learn in a school I can learn on my own by reading the right books. And for so much cheaper.

I would much rather be a nanny or tutor. And I don't need a degree for that. I just need to know things. 

I love styling hair – but I do not want to pay 10K so that I can work in someone else's salon and have to deal with all their nasty chemicals.

I love writing – but it's pretty obvious that only requires experience and heart, not a degree.

I know what I love. I know what sort of life I don't want.

I know I love school – but I know debt is not an option. And being self-taught, attending conferences and lectures, and listening to podcasts is the best way to learn anything.

And I most certainly don't need a piece of paper saying I am smart enough or qualified to live a life I am confident of living already.

I can still teach (tutor and nanny).

I can still write my own curriculum.

I can still do hair for friends' weddings.

I can still write (and become published).

And while I work, I can travel, and make people a priority over career.

Also, there are other ways of making money with out a degree.

Such as what I do: housecleaning.

Many people actually seem to look down at this way of making money for various reasons (among other honest, hardworking jobs).

There is most certainly a stereotype to house cleaners that I do not want to meet: The socially awkward middle aged lady that is way anorexic skinny, most likely smokes and does some sort of drug, and though she works well, you never know if something may come up missing. They are also very nosy…and love to talk and gossip about all their personal problems. They usually hate all their friends, too.

Yeah, that's not me. I am fast, yet methodical. I get the job done. I plug in my ear phones - music and lectures! And I'd prefer to have silence (no visiting as I clean). I usually prefer to not snack as I work either...crumbs kinda defeat my whole purpose of being there.

I love housecleaning because it is a productively active job that pays well and leaves you feeling satisfied.

A Success Story

I recently talked to this really neat older lady. She was telling me her success story. She never got a degree – but worked for the AT&T phone company back when it was part of this regional corporation split into 7 companies across the states called the Baby Bells.

She told me how every one had their own job, yet they would get to know each others' departments and work well to provide better customer service. 

She told me how one of the reasons customer service is so lousy now days is because people can barely work in their own department, let alone anyone else's. But back in her day every job she had - from this, to being a manager of a large craft store, to working at a car rental - she was familiar with every person's job and what they did, so that if a customer needed help she could help them 100% with out referring them to another.

A skill like this, one could never have learned at a's something you apply on the job. It makes customers happy, boss' pleased, and herself satisfied with her work.

Her daughter, starting out life, wasn't sure what she wanted to do. So, she worked at a pharmacy for a couple years. They recognized her skills with the work and people and kept promoting her. Eventually they payed her way through school to get a degree so she could work with certain drugs, and she had a lasting career that was both successful and satisfying with out the dead years of debt and college and uncertainty. She kept busy doing something productive that she loved, and it payed off, as had her mother's career life.

This lady agreed with me about college. And knowing what I didn't want as an end goal was a good start. Housecleaning, continuance of educating and learning whenever I could, never passing up opportunities, continuing to develop better networking and social skills – those are more key than pursuing a college degree that may or may not ever benefit me.

Career Over Friendships, Marriage, Children 

Another thing that has me frustrated with the system is the whole outlook on marriage and family.

It is 100% wrong.

Career is not the highest goal, nor should it ever be. Especially for girls.

But our society has turned us into a bunch of selfish brats.

It's all about “me.”

Especially with women. - Do feminists realize that they are just hurting themselves more by refusing to admit that their qualities and femininity has much need in our society? Why must they give up all their goodness and strive after crudeness, selfishness, and rebellion?

It doesn't' matter that a girl might rather get married and have a family. 
She must first do a few things:

1. Live on her own and figure out who she is 

– first off the whole self-identity stuff is garbage. Never were we meant to discover ourselves, but God. Never are we meant to follow our dreams, but serve God and people (Galatians 5:13, Romans 7:6, John 12:26).

Girls (even girls that are leaders) tend to follow what's in their nature and conform to those around them.

Whether it be family, friends, or her husband.

That is why it's extremely important to choose good friends and date a good guy. 

Because you will be like those that you choose to associate with.

Proverbs is full of verses about being wise with those we spend time with and take counsel (advice) from.

2. Go to college and get a degree.

Never mind the fact that her utmost dream is to raise a family, she must first spend a good 60k on a degree she'll use for a few years until she dumps it for the guy and kids.

And as she's being taught how to use a career that she may or may not end up pursuing, she is never taught how to be a woman. How to run a house hold. How to be a friend. How to deal with kids. How to be a nurturer, teacher, encourager. Or practice hospitality.

3. Not marry the first guy that comes along.

This is both good and bad advice.

More bad than good.

First, I do agree that one shouldn't just marry the first person that comes onto the scene.

But neither should you act like it's some trivial thing. 

Giving yourself to someone is HUGE. And the more people you open up to, the harder it becomes. When you finally find the right guy (that should have been the first one) you have become so hardened and cautious that the process will be harder. 

And you will always be missing pieces of yourself that have been given to another.

4. It's about you.

No. It's. not. 

If you are a believer and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) then you will realize a few things. 

Man was created for God's glory (Eph 2:10, Gen 1-2).

And woman was created to help and complete man toward serving God.

Never was she created for herself  (Psalm 100:3).

And so nothing is about her. The perfect woman will lead a life of complete servitude – toward God and husband. She will raise children to send out and conquer the world. She will influence their minds and bodies for great things. She will comfort and follow her husband. She will encourage and work to no end for every person that God sends to her.

The perfect woman is the epitome of beauty, encouragement, submission, and servitude just as the man is the epitome of strength, action, and leadership.

By the way, these last 4 points loosely apply to guys, too. 

Life isn't about career. 

It's about honoring God. And fulfilling His perfect will – which for most is done through marriage and raising a family for His glory. 

Hospitality is more important than a busy life.

Witnessing and discipling and encouraging should be common elements of our lives – not stress over money for things that we truly do not need.

Are You Fed Up?

The thing is, I believe I am not the only one frustrated with the direction we are being pushed toward.

So many kids my ages are being pressured by family and society to do things (sometimes drastically opposite things that both go against God's perfect will)

There is so much pressure about what is right.

Whether we're being told by the super conservative, patriarchal side to stay at home forever, or the secular side to leave home and get a career, we are constantly being told.

Yet, many of us know neither way is the way. None of it is right.

And though we are fed up with the career world…many of us don't know how to escape it. 

We are still caught up with the belief that work and money are security. 
Money is a important to survive. Yet, we don't want to be it's slave or it our God (Matt 6:24).

And most individuals are jerks (girls and guys, each in their own ways), so the option of raising a family is close to non-existent for many.

And thus we are forced to do something with our lives. To live under the consequences of an imperfect, sin-filled world.

Yet, do we have to conform, even then?

Just because what is the perfect will of God can't be fulfilled now doesn't mean we have to resort to playing society's game. No.

We can still let God be our focus. Not career, nor money, nor fear of the future.

We can base decisions on the talents and opportunities God has given us – not the debt-filled world society offers.

We don't need to be successful in anyone's eyes. Just do what is right according to God's standards and leadership.

It's OK to stand against the expectations of everyone, to appear unsuccessful. 

I think this should be our standard. It doesn't matter if we are or aren't "successful". Whether we decide to go or not to go to college. What matters is how we follow God and the actions and words that proceed from our internal beliefs. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Daredevil (How Bad Can I Be): Thoughts From Movies

I have this thing for plot-driven action movies. I like a good, balanced movie.

Of course many of these sort of movies aren't always 100% appropriate, so that is sad. And I wonder if they are even worth watching - sure you may be inspired, encouraged, or entertained...but at the cost of loosing more innocence and having your mind stuffed fuller with rotting garbage.

I am finding that it is not stupid to be extremely cautious with what we put into ourselves. Food. Media. Fulfilling desires isn't always enough...sometimes one needs to also eat to grow and strengthen. 

I actually don't watch many movies any more. Too busy. Too tired. Or too something ;p.

But a while back I felt like sacrificing all the too's to just take a break and watch a movie. 

Daredevil was the one I decided upon ;)

I kinda like unique superhero stories. Drama + action might = awesome.

I will say, I was surprised by how much I liked it. To such a point that the one scene I did have to skip over didn't irritate me that much.

Anyways, the movie - warning: spoilers.

It actually didn't have that amazing of a plot...the thing had tons of potential that was never expanded on. Such as Daredevil being a lawyer and the main love interest being set up by the main bad guy as being guilty could have made for a good plot going back and forth between him trying to prove her innocent in the day and protecting her at night.

Despite the lack in expanded potential, the story really caught me and I sympathized with the main guy, a man blinded as a boy.

He had been such an innocent child. Had so much hope in life. But then suddenly, his eyes were opened up to the horrible reality of just how evil people were and how depressing life was...just as he lost his sight forever.

Yet, he didn’t' give up. He used his 4 other senses to find hope...only to have hope shattered over and over and over and over…

And so, a grown man, he was a lawyer that fought for justice in the day, and a vigilante that sought revenge at night.

And the conflict of his two-sided life tore him up.

He wasn't able to connect to people. He tried to find his own hope by his own terms.

He looked for what couldn't be found through the violence of his own hands.

And as he continued down a path that he knew was wrong, he tasted only failure. And more hurt.

I thought it interesting that they presented Christianity (Catholicism) in a good way. In the end the only man that really seemed to be void of depression was the priest.

I liked the movie because it really showed something about humanity: it's depressed state of mind, and how it closes one off from knowing the truth, doing right, and experiencing a full life.

The movie also made the main guy such a jerk. The movie showed that even though life had been hard, depression was real, and hurt terrible Daredevil was still an unlikable jerk because he was letting himself wallow in his own selfish world of pain, not caring about what other's felt.

And he payed for it, tragically, and then learned from that payment.

Though it was an awful, high price.

I liked the movie because I could feel so much in it.

I hated the Bull's Eye villain...he was so cruel when he killed people.

I really hated the graphic violence in seems this world, as it plummets more and more into self-centered depression becomes desensitized toward others' pain and hurt. It felt too the violence was mimicking just how unloving one can be inside. How unsympathetic. 

The movie made me pity humanity more, as I even wanted to hate it more ;/

We all can be such jerks. And can know such people.

It's sad. 

Because just as the movie had so much potential in an amazing plot - so do our lives. We each could experience full lives. We each could possess such good characters - could love and care and be selfless.

Yet, so many of us fail.

So many of us cause hurt, and are hurt in return.

And I hate that about life. 

We aren't supposed to be living such wretched, dark, depressed, self-centered lives. 

We aren't supposed to be making life about finding ourselves or even doing what's best for us.

If one would just make life about God first. And then think about those in their life second. Then maybe we could avoid at least half the depressed state of humanity depicted in Daredevil.

On, a happy note: I watched Dr Seuss' The Lorax. There you have a sad group story centered around greed and selfishness that plummeted many into depression, pain, and destitution. 

But there was hope.

Because there was change.

Change that took work AND forgiveness.

How many of us are willing to do both???

How many of us are even willing to admit we did wrong? 

Even when we are obviously in the wrong, it is so easy to just be blind to our own actions.

After all, how bad is it really to just look out for me????

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Spinner of Secrets (Book Review and Release!)

Find it on:

Spinner of Secrets 
by Annie Twitchell 

I recently had the privilege of beta reading this amazing book!! I was so excited to start it when I heard it was a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

I must admit - I love fairy tales. Even the ones that are a little bit on the side of this-story-is-so-off-and-this-philosophy-so-unrealistic.

Something else, I knew going into this book, was that it had a unique twist on the whole fairy tale love theme.

So I was excited. 

And not disappointed :) 

Back Cover:

Where will the journey for love take you? Will it be worth the fight?

Letta is a peasant girl, whose father was outlawed and killed when she was small. Though her name means truthful one, she finds herself submitting to her step-father's will, and complying with his lies and trickery.

Prince Kyle is her reluctant husband. His mind is focused on one thing: avenging the murder of his childhood sweetheart.

They must learn to trust each other when a strange little man forces them to fight for what is important to them, in a desperate race to save their child's life.

In this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, Annie Louise Twitchell weaves an enchanting tale of love, longing, and thread.

My Review:

Letta is a very sweet and truthful girl. Her name means truth. She only wants what is best for her family. But her step-father seems to only tear their family further and further apart.

And then it gets more complicated when she is put in the mix of one of his lies.

To marry her off, he claims that Letta can weave straw into gold! 

To tell the truth would mean the ruin of her family. But to not produce the gold string will mean forfeiting her life!

What can she do? She yearns to follow her mother's wishes and speak truth. But she can't.

And then a mysterious person arrives, forever changing her life.

Her problems may seem over, but that is just the beginning. Learning to love a man that hates her? And for no logical reason. 

Fear of the future. 

Separation from family.

Letta is a lone. And her life seems to be cascading downhill, filled with hate and desperation. 

Will she ever learn to be love or be loved? Will she ever be able to find happiness? And most importantly, what will that strange, nameless man mean for her future?

Spinner of Secrets is a beautiful retelling of the classic Rumpelstiltskin story about a girl learning to fight lies to embrace truth, find love and give it back, and how to live the life she has been placed in. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Wedding!

I love weddings. Especially when they are with people I love.

Last month one of my long-time good friends married a wonderful young man.

I kinda didn't see it have been friends since we were 15. Neither of us had ever been the romantic type... I am probably considered to be more so than her, and that's saying a lot.

We loved to read and craft and talk. But never about guys or romances...we steered clear of that genre ;)

Just goes to show that you don't have to be romantic or daydream to find a decent guy ;) 

I was especially happy with the pink mousse :)

I stayed with her family a week before the wedding to help prepare things. 
The first day I hosted a wedding shower - the food was so fun to make! Lots of artistic opportunity ;)

With the games I had planned, we had a very fun evening - lots of laughter and visiting.

Not the best picture.. but we dressed up a little for the wedding shower :) 

And of course, you gotta get a crazy selfie every now and then ;)

The rest of the week included a lot of preparation and work... Alexa had to sew all the flower girl dresses and the bridesmaid dress for her little sister. So, I sewed up two of the flower girl dresses.

There was cleaning, organizing, ironing, decorating, cooking, and endless amounts of preparations.

Decorating flower girl shoes

Just before they went into the justice of the peace (to make things legal). I got to sign as a witness! 

Fun times with her siblings ;)

This girl is pretty cute - love how her hair turned out.

The day of the wedding! Transporting lilacs to their final destination. 
The day of the wedding was busy!! Last minute decorations and work, and of course we had to get ready.

I had the pleasure of doing every one's hair. And using that nasty stuff called hair spray.

Most of the girls hated it...I don't think many of them had ever used it before.

But the hair turned out lovely. And we were all happy.

Girls wedding party

My sister was the photographer...she did a great job...and took my bossing amazingly ;p 

Ready to walk out! Isn't the bride just exciting looking??

An after-wedding picture with my littlest brother - he's such a heart-throb ;) 

A quick picture mom snapped of me after the service.

But they are just soooo cute :) 

And of course we have to celebrate the success of the wedding with a selfie!!! Introducing Mr and Mrs Smith :) :D 

It was an exhausting week filled with messy hair and lots to do. But, amazingly, there was not really any stress. Things went smoothly, and everyone got along with each other. Rehearsal was a breeze. Everything was accomplished...and the bride and groom left looking happy!