Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A to Z of Lessons Learned in 2014: Solidarity

Just a quick recap for everyone who's new to this series: Because 2014 sucked as a year, I'm making it a mission to write about the A to Z of things I learned from the hard time. It's my way of finding something positive in a difficult time. 

When I picked out words to go with each letter, I knew that Solidarity had to be S. Because in the past eighteen months, I've learned just how blessed I am to have a family and friends who jump right in to fight the good fight with me. 

Times like these are when we see who's really with us, and I'm grateful to say that there were more of these angels in human form than my family and I had expected. Which isn't to say anything bad about the people in our lives. 

It's just that after the events in 2014, we've lost a lot of faith in people. And then there was 2015, with more people seemingly out to prove that humanity just sucks. 

And yet, our friends and family really stepped up even when we'd given up on hoping that anyone was on our side. These people proved to us that good is still out there. That we can't give up because they haven't given up on us. 

They also taught me how much I want to be this friend to other people. Who's there when those people need me most. 

So this is just a thank you. Even if they won't read this post. 

I've thanked them personally too, of course. But the funny thing is that most of them didn't even want to be thanked. 

They inspire me to be better. 

They inspire me to be there. 

Have you also seen solidarity at work in a hard time? Any people surprise you by coming through when you least expected it? 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Just a quick hello

Hi all! Sorry for being so absent lately (and specifically for not visiting any blogs.) Life's been a bit crazy lately. First, there's the fact that I have a month left to submit both my books' final versions for publishing. Then, there's the fact that I have to get the edits etc done while growing my new business. Which means I often have very little time left to do anything else.

I'm hoping to submit both books this weekend, which means I should hopefully be a bit better about blog visits and the like from next week.

In the interests of that, I've recently put out a call for questions for anyone wanting to ask. If you're curious about anything on this blog or about me (that's fit for public consumption), please click here and leave the question in the comments.

That's me for now. I should be back on Wednesday with my A to Z post.

How are you doing?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A to Z of Things I Learned in 2014: Reasons

Hi all. Just a heads up that my post will be dealing about my faith. So if you'd rather not read it, maybe you'd like to find out how my writing's going? 

If you are going to read on, I'm going to warn you that this subject is really tricky for me to write about, because I'm wrestling with my thoughts with it as I type. 

2014 and the first three months of 2015 were rough on me and my family. Without going into too much detail, I'm just going to say that those 15 months cost us a lot. And even today, we're having to deal with some of the results of things that happened in this time.

In April, I decided to start writing about the things I'd learned because I wanted something positive to come out of my time. So instead of focusing on all of the things that went wrong. 

Basically, what I'm doing is actively giving everything that's happened a reason. 

I know a lot of people say that "everything has a reason." In a sense, that's true and not quite true at the same time. 

Often, the simple reason behind something happening is really just that someone made a choice that has a terrible effect on other people's lives, unless the people who are affected in fact make a point to take something more from it somehow. 

Sorry. I'm finding this really hard to write today, because so much of today's post involves the way God works. And let's face it. We just don't know. I mean, I can reason that He wouldn't actively do things to hurt His children. But it could also be that sometimes He puts us through difficult times to make us better people. (I know a lot of people believe this.) 

I...think I fall somewhere in the middle of this. I think He does sometimes guide us into difficult places in life to teach us. Sometimes. There are some things that I just can't imagine Him doing, but then it could just be that my understanding is flawed. Most of the time, I just chalk it up as something I'll ask Him one day. 

The point is that regardless of the answer, that even if God wants us to learn from what happened, we won't unless we decide to learn. So if we want to believe that everything happens for a reason, it's up to us to make it true by finding that reason. 


Friday, June 12, 2015

Asking FOR questions

Hi Everyone!

I haven't done this in a while, but enjoyed last time so much that I thought I'd give it another whirl. Basically you (Yes YOU) get to ask me anything. As long as it isn't insulting or rude in some way, I'll answer whatever you ask as best I can.

Then I'll answer them over the next few weeks.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A to Z of Things I Learned in 2014: Quiet

Hi all! Just a heads-up that this post loosely relates to my Christian faith. So if you'd rather not read about it, maybe you'd like to read about my writing?

Slowly, but surely, I'm making my way through the lessons learned in 2014. For those of you who missed it, I started this as my A to Z Challenge theme, but then life and the Internet and stuff got in the way.

I think that me writing about all this is a productive, even helpful way to work through a really craptastic year. So I decided to keep posting about it once a week until I get to Z.

Today, I'm writing about Quiet.

I don't know about you, but this is one of those things I struggle with. I can't sit still. Even when I'm doing nothing, I'm actually doing something like crocheting to keep focused on doing nothing. Yeah, I know how funny it sounds. The thing is just that basically, I've gone and taught myself to turn literally everything into words and pictures in my mind.

It's good, in that I can let my mind wander and come up with amazing ideas. It also helps me absorb more and to make links that I can later use in my writing. AND it helps me to write because I can theoretically look at a blank wall and come up with at least a 100 words to say about it (or something related to it).

What's not good is that it's pretty noisy in here, and it's a rare day indeed that I switch it off. Add to that t.v. and radio and social media and news and things just turn into chaos. Generally, I don't mind. I actually like the fact that words come to me with the minimal prodding. I like that ideas are already floating in my head, waiting to be discovered. Or sometimes not (I get story ideas in dreams every-so-often.)

It's just that... sometimes, it feels like everything becomes too loud. And then, it feels like I can't really hear God as well as I should. As I mentioned in my previous post, I believe that prayer should be a continuous, natural conversation with a friend who happens to be with me all the time. Sometimes, it's like trying to talk in a night club.

Night clubs are fun. They're just not good places to build relationships. So sometimes, it's necessary to turn things off and just listen.

The nice thing I discovered last year is that quiet is nice too. It helps me rest. Brings me a sense of peace. Especially in that it makes me more aware of God's presence in my life. Nowadays, life's getting noisy again, but I'm trying to steal moments of quiet. Just so that I can listen.

How about you? Also have noise in your head? How do you turn it off?