Before It’s Too Late, Former Friends Edition

I wish people could know that the reason I’m “so quiet” at first and for awhile before warming up to people is that I can get real hot, real fast, setting things on fire and burning them down.

Of course, the burning to rubble and ashes isn’t immediate, but it happens rather fast, snowballing quicker, it seems, than the warming-up process.

It’s not like I had intended on burning and ruining things.

It’s just kinda what I do. And I wish I could stop it, change me, change how I respond to people, change different factors before it’s too late.

Except once my mouth starts running, it’s hard to get it to stop. And then the blaze is started on its horrific path of destruction, ruining every chance at normal interactions with humans pretty much for good.

And then when the fire is out and over, words of apology are as empty as the friendship / relationship has become.

The strange thing is I’m afraid of fires and flames for other reasons, but mostly because I know how much they hurt.

You’d think I’d know how to avoid starting them, then, wouldn’t I?

Other parts of me think that it’s a lie that I didn’t intend to start them.

Maybe subconsciously I start them to have a legitimate reason for the friendship to end, rather than dealing with the different, yet equally painful slow-fade.

Anyways, I sometimes want to answer new people I meet who ask, “Why are you so quiet?” with , “I don’t want people to know I’m a closet pyromaniac, of sorts”, just to warn them.

Instead, I sort of half laugh, half smile and hope they don’t find out how I’ve started so many burning fires and ruined so many relationships.

 

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Before It’s Too Late, Extended Family Edition

I’ve messed up. A lot. But especially within the past year. And I’ve realized this far too late. Sooner rather than later, but still too late.

I ran my mouth about how editing photos is being deceitful , which was taken as an attack on a form of art family members found enjoyment in producing and posting. Instead of privately having a discussion about it, I opened the discussion in a setting that was easy for me to be rebutted by more than one person. It wasn’t a discussion, then, but an argument, something my grandpa reported back to my parents after we came back from vacation. Strike one.

Strike two happened with my family again in October when I yelled at my cousin about a certain politician currently in office, bolstering my cousin’s point that we Americans were getting a little too emotional about the presidential race.

In both instances, I apologized, but the damage had already been done. The rifts were already forming and widening. Additionally, back during the vacation, there were other discussions/ arguments about other topics that had already taken place, and I had come across as if I were condescending and thought my points of view were better and far more rational than theirs, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you’re reading this, family, I don’t think I’m better. In fact, arrogance and attacks often come from places of insecurity. And I made those comments about the pictures because I was tired of the vacation becoming a competition of who took the best photos and who received the most likes on them on Instagram. I was frustrated because one of the  people who defended editing photos had made what I thought were snide comments about how girls, including myself, wearing makeup isn’t natural but deceitful and also about how I could try harder on my photo-taking for my social media accounts. Regarding the election, I was tired of hearing about how a certain politician was the thing America needed at the time and now and how voting for anyone else was fill-in-the-blank with some derogatory, judgmental comment, implying what I perceived as inferiority.

I’m really just scared, sad, tired, and trying to find meaning and a purpose in this life.

Just like you all are.

And yet, here I was/ am pointing fingers at you for how you treated me, but I acted as if I were justified in acting as such because of how I had been treated. Circular reasoning or lack of reasoning/ hypocrisy. Sigh.

Who knows if anything else since has been seen as strikes and thus a strike-out. I’ve tried to keep on the low and not run my mouth, but some interactions with certain family members are beyond exhausting and unproductive.

Staying away is my best option, and yet looks like a complete lack of an attempt to be civil.

Is it too late? Have I struck out?

I feel it is and that I have. I feel the gap widening , as if there’s something wrong with me and I shouldn’t be part of the family.

I feel all these things I’m perceived to be, and I’m too scared to ask because some things have already been said or things have been said in certain ways to confirm my fears. I’m just tired of feeling I don’t meet expectation that I’ve made up in my head I have to meet for my family members.

I don’t even know what to do anymore.

I know this isn’t healthy, normal, Christ-honoring, etc., but I still feel these things and don’t feel I have the means to change myself.

If you’re reading this, please don’t do what I did and ruin your relationships with your family members by being sassy and snarky and running your mouth, pushing your point of view on a topic, or talking down about something people in your family clearly enjoy doing. It’s not worth it. Also, even though it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, treat others, including those in your family, how they SHOULD be treated, NOT how they treat you or you think they treat you, etc. Be kind to them, no matter what. Love them and forgive them, no matter if they don’t love you or seem to not forgive you for something you said to them. Show them kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, congeniality, etc. even when they go out of their way to hurt you. Be the change in the world. You can only change yourself. It’s so cliche, but it’s so important. Waiting to treat them kindly when they start being kind to you means you’ll probably be waiting your whole life. Surprise them. Be nice because Jesus says that loving others, even the most hurtful, rude people is the right thing to do, not so you’ll get kindness in return.

It still hurts, though, and if it’s too late, family, I apologize.

It’s not you. It’s me.

A Warzone

 

Utter pain and sadness

Increasingly building, mounting, rising

Attempting to shove down any existing progress

Of change or traces of happiness, and joy..

Of love for others and for oneself

And ultimately for Christ

Back to the confines of “Unworking Ideologies”,

Back to the heap of “Noble Yet Stupid Ways to Live One’s Life”,

Only to be replaced by bitterness, jealousy, strife

Pride, condescension, stubbornness,

Hate.

Attempting to validate these emotions

With lies, twistings of truth,

And the constant reminder of,

“BUT YOU HURT. IT’S OKAY.”

Filling the void, the sadness, and covering

The pain with more fillers

That fuel the vicious cycle.

Ever inching you to a person you

Don’t even recognized anymore.

“What have I become?”,

You wonder.

“Who taught me to be this way?”

“Who did I listen to so closely or

Not closely enough to end up here?”

And then from voices all around

And within, you realize that the

Only common factor of the

Clamoring within your heart,

With others, with friends, fake and

real, with coworkers, with managers,

With family members and customers,

The only person around in all of those

Interactions was

You.

The tears stream from your

Face, as your mind and heart

Finally meet up at reality.

You are slammed with the

Realization that your life is

Spiraling out of control

Because it’s a life you

Have created.

You cry and cry because

You realize how messed up

You are and have become.

How you have turned into

A monster you would never

Want to meet.

How your assertiveness

Has crossed the line over

To aggressiveness.

How your disrespectful attitude

About yourself has poured over

And been thrown onto others.

The resounding fear echoes through

Your mind:

What if I am too unlovely to be

Loved? 

I don’t deserve happiness because

I’ve poured out anger and hate onto 

Others. I’m a mess, a wreck,

And I’m most certainly too far

Gone.

Then you try to get your life back

Together.

You try to be a little quieter, hold

Back in certain areas,

Work harder.

Pray more.

But you always end up failing.

Once your mouth opened, after

Years of staying quiet, it’s

Hard to keep it shut.

Once you start talking, your

One-track-mind slips off track

Again and your work productivity

Plummets.

You become known for being

“Crazy”, “psycho”,

“Funny”, “lazy”, and “disrespectful”.

Wait, what?

You shake your head and read the

Words again.

Yes, you read that right.

And deep down inside you can

See how the description fits.

You know full well that people

Call you that and at first you

Don’t want to believe it, so

You protest the descriptions.

Then reality smacks you back

Into line.

And you know that no

Matter how hard you

Try,

You can’t live it

Down.

And you find it

Even harder

To change.

So you don’t.

And the cycle continues.

You’re not addicted to

The vices, such as gambling,

Porn, alcohol, or drugs.

You wouldn’t touch those

Things with a ten foot pole.

(You’re already crazy

Enough. Who needs to see you

Crazier?)

But you’re addicted to

Something much, much worse.

In fact, many things.

You’re addicted to your love

For self. You’re addicted to

Defending, protecting, and

Building up walls, defenses,

And your reputation, even

To the point of deceiving people

Into thinking you’re something

You’re not.

You’re addicted to people–

You love to please them, and when

You can’t perform at the

Level you think they want you

To be performing at,

You please them by giving them

Something to shame and gawk at.

You feel that if you can’t be in the center

Of attention for

Their words of accolade, you’ll be

In the forefronts of their minds

For failing.

You want to be known for something,

At least.

It’s slightly masochistic, and that’s okay,

You rationalize.

Because you learned years ago and know

You cannot meet others’

expecations, you now don’t even try.

You’re addicted to failure

Because it’s easier than

Working hard to produce

Change and success.

You’re addicted, thus, to

A lack of change.

It’s so much safer and

Easier, and it doesn’t

Provide much boat-rocking–

Until it does.

And when it does,

You secretly like that, too.

You’re addicted to loving

Things you know you

Shouldn’t or loving things

You cannot have.

You’re addicted to chaos,

Struggles, discord, and animosity

Because it’s what you have known

And dealt with inside and outside for

Two decades and then some.

You’re addicted to hating others and

Hurting others, as well as yourself

Because you really haven’t been shown or

Taught any other way.

You don’t see how anyone can love

You, especially when you don’t

Love yourself.

And when people do come into

Your life offering an extended hand,

You know too well it’s too good to be

True because everyone always ends up

Leaving anyways.

So you push others away or

You do something to cause the cutoff

Or slow fade, so you have a valid

Reason for why it would’t work out.

You keep going back to things you hate

Because you love to hate them.

And the cycle of misery continues on.

When will it end?

At what point will you invite change and freshness,

Positive attitudes, hard work, compromise,

Gentleness, LOVE,

Into your life and into the lives of

Those around you?

Of course, the demons of the present and past,

The fears that the future may hold, the enemy

Who wants to strip every bit of happiness

From you says that it doesn’t matter.

Change doesn’t matter and is good for nothing.

But just remember that he’s the one who

Has been fueling the lack of change

For several years now.

It’s hard, but it can be done.

And just remember you can’t break the cycle,

But Someone can.

And that alone is the only consoling thought

Amidst all this utter pain and sadness.

Dear Future Husband,

I know you don’t know me yet. But I can’t wait to meet you in God’s perfect timing. I know the wait is kinda (okay–super) long, but it’s gonna be worth it!!

I just want you to know I’m praying for you currently. I pray that whatever spiritual struggle you’re going through– if you’re fighting a battle in the mind, a battle of what to believe/whether the Bible’s trustworthy or not, a battle of words with friends, family, and acquaintances–that a) you’re not alone (those fights are just some things I’m dealing with right now) and b) JESUS CHRIST is MORE than enough, babe!

Rely on Him. Pray constantly about what you’re going through. Tell Him your fears, concerns, frustrations, etc. Let Him know that you’re done with being chained to this sin and that you want to be free!! Then make an effort to change! Tell someone close to you about your struggles; find an accountability partner! Know that once you’ve confessed your sin, you’ve been forgiven. Know that then you are free to walk in righteousness with the help of the One who walked on water! Don’t give up the fight! Baby, you’re gonna be okay because the One from above has conquered the grave, freeing you from all past, present, and future sin!! Amazing, huh?

That’s why you’ve first gotta make sure your vertical relationship with the God of this universe is right. And I want you to know that right now, regardless of what you’ve believed about Him before, how you’ve treated others, etc., He’s ready and waiting for you to cry out to Him. He loves you way more than any human on earth ever could!

Babe, you’re a wonderful human being, full of amazing skills and talents. What God has called you to do right now, at this moment in time, even if it’s not what you want to be doing, is an opportunity to expand your skills and to work your hardest for His glory, to get you to that next step and towards where you actually want to be headed!

I also need you to realize you’re caring, sweet, funny, beautiful, and I cannot wait to meet you! I don’t have a clue where God will lead you and me to find each other, but I know it will be absolutely amazing when it does happen.<3 Until then, know that regardless of what others have to say about you (which says more about them than you), you’re an absolutely wonderful person. Don’t change who you are just because others want you to!!

Until God leads us to meeting each other, have a wonderful life, babe. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope your Christmas is purely magical.  I mean, a person like you deserves it! I hope you don’t get so caught up in the messiness of life that you forget to thank God for everything you do have. I hope you don’t forget to thank Him in spite of what you don’t have. Baby, I’m only saying these things because I myself have a tendency to struggle with this, as well as a tendency to get off the path, to get away from what truly matters,which leads to more and more struggles. Stay on the path, babe. Listen closely to God’s truths for you daily.  Pray without ceasing. Draw near to Him, as I know you want to do. Keep on keeping on and chasing what and Who truly matters! ❤

I love you, babe, and I want you to know God loves you even more.

I hope 2015 finishes out well for you, and that 2016 treats you well!! Best wishes on what all life entails for you in this upcoming leap year!

Don’t let the criticisms from others and the naysayers pull you away from what God has said about you and told you, from what you know to be true about yourself, and from what those who do have your back have affirmed about you. Stay true to yourself, and make a choice to be happy this year. Babe, don’t give up something that’s hard and seemingly bad (but only based off of misinterpretation) for something that’s just not right at all for you, as I did this year. Baby, pray, pray, and pray some more before you make any decisions, major or minor!!

Again, I love you so much!! I can’t wait for God to lead me to you, but until then, I hope maybe you’ll somehow read this or know that I was praying for you.

(And in all honesty, I would love to know you’re praying for me, too, but that’s just a crazy girl dreaming.)

Well, here’s to someday!! <3<3

XOXOXO

Your future wife,

Emma<3

Let’s Get Real

It’s taken me several years–okay, make that basically my whole life up until now–to realize that at some point, you have to stop waiting for X to happen to experience joy.

Joy, as it may be known, is different than happiness because you can be joyful while still experiencing sad events, turmoil, and problems in your life. But we still often link the two and assume they’re practically the same thing. And that’s where problems arise.

Over the past few years, I’ve become much more outgoing (and if you’re thinking, “Um, lol, what, Emma? You’re the shyest person I know”, please understand that I have broken out of my shell and am much more personable and friendly than I was in middle school and high school. That is a fact.) and have developed at least acquaintance-ships, if not friendships with those I attended college with and worked with. I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ve gotten a job on my own (without the referral of a family member), that I can and have made a few more friends than I had in high school (a.k.a none), and that I told the guy I liked, albeit in written form, what my feelings were for him.

And yet, because I’ve inferred that joy and happiness are synonymous, I’ve been left feeling about as empty, lonely, and sad as I was in high school. These feelings are partially due to the fact that my college and work relationships were only thriving because I lived in the dorms and went to class and/or lunch with them or worked with those people, respectively, and apparently we were obligated to be sociable. But in my mind we were on the verge of being friends or staying friends for a long period of time! Boy, do I often experience heartache and problems because what I think and feel and what actually is happening/happens are two completely different things. Sigh.

My skin crawls, chills run up and down my spine, and tears often seem to work their way to the corners of my eyes. Sometimes I sit there numb, not feeling anything because it’s become as normal to me as my heartbeat. And other times I get so worked up over a little annoyance that feelings that have been shoved down deep inside to keep from others knowing about and to somehow trick myself into forgetting (and yet I never can quite do) well back up to the surface. As I sob, my body shakes with every memory–happy, sad, and everywhere in between–that are of what used-to-be. My body, mind, and soul seem to have been in shock for so long, as it’s a perpetual occurrence every few months in my life. (But my body and mind still don’t know which is more acceptable–to numbly act as if nothing is wrong or numbly be unable to respond to the feelings or to exude emotions that reflect what once was a very real part of me. It’s something I’m not sure I’ll ever grasp and or expertly act out.)

I’ve also learned (somewhat) how to stand up for myself. I quit my job a month ago by standing up for myself  (more so in action than in word) and indicating that I’m not down with how the new management was treating the regular employees. I immediately took on a job to rescue myself, or so I thought, from the problematic traumas of the food service industry. And now I’m on an arduous trek in a completely different realm–childcare–which has troubles and trials of its own.

This experience is another lesson I’ve been learning. Sometimes what we think we want and need to take us away from what we have dealt with “for too long” might not actually be the right thing at all. It could be a good thing, a step to get us out of what was “bad”, but not necessarily the best step. But once we take it, although it might be devoid of happiness, at least for a time, it can lead us to joy, as again, that feeling is separate from the actual experience and different than happiness. Once you make a choice you must take it upon yourself to learn to deal with the consequences and responsibilities of that choice, even if you “weren’t ready” or “didn’t know” what those results were. It may be hard, less-than-ideal, and stretching, but remember, it’s your path now. And it’s taking you away from that “bad” path you used to be on. (All of this advice, however, is coming from hindsight. Actually having to experience it as it comes without seeing it coming is rather exhausting, painful, heart-wrenching, etc. Sigh.)

Anyways, I thought sticking up for myself was what I was socially expected to do to be seen as a strong, independent, twenty-something female. It seemed everyone around me was standing back, sizing me up, placing bets on whether or not I’d actually have the guts to take the plunge. Apparently I did, but I was not prepared for the shock of the plunge or the responsibilities and requirements that would come with doing so and not being submerged and drowned as a result. I’m afloat and learning to be joyful in staying afloat, but it is a whole new adventure–and not always a fun one at that.

I thought becoming more outgoing by finally expressing how I feel instead of bottling up emotions, such as anger and annoyance, feelings for guys and excited, crazy, boisterous, psychotic, immature, and more thoughts would lead me to happiness, and thus joy, at long last, that if I did so I’d finally meet my Prince Charming, my best friend for life in my area, other members of my squad, people who were “chill” and “cool” and whom everyone in my family would be jealous of me knowing and wish that they had my friends or were me. I thought if I finally learned how to put on makeup “perfectly” and change my hairstyle to a cool, in-vogue cut (because apparently I used to not care about my personal appearance or what others thought of me in this area), that the same would happen: I would get amazing friends, a cute guy on my arm, and life would be perfect and happy. I would be able to post limitless pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., my followers number would skyrocket, as would my likes, and that then, popularity, love, good vibes, happiness, joy, blessings, and life would rain down from the Giver up above. I thought if I just kept doing what His creations told me to do, since it was “different” (slightly) from what my formula for success, popularity, acceptance, love, happiness, and joy had been, that pretty soon my rocky path would even out. I would finally have my life together and would be able to accurately and appropriately meet everyone’s expectations of me in the beauty, friendship, and love life arena. And in short order, I’d be able to move on to mastering more and more social skills and other life skills such as keeping a house clean, baking a pie, as well as planning meals for the whole week that were both delicious and healthy, making time for daily exercise, getting places on time, raising children to be wonderfully mannered, while dressing them cutely every day, parenting them with neither too tight nor too loose of a grip, taking the advice and instructions that worked in raising my siblings and me and combining those with techniques of my own to have the perfect mommy tool kit. And in all of this, I would make sure to add God in there somewhere– giving Him praise and honor and thanks when the sailing finally became smooth but sort of pushing Him to the side immediately afterwards, unless storms could be seen in the near future. And I would make sure to never, ever push Him onto those who didn’t want to hear about Him in person but would make sure to add the word “God” here and there on social media just so everyone knew that I “believed” in God.

But remember?? This life could come about only if I could attain a guy, a perfect makeup routine (one that was neither too bare nor too heavy “to draw unwanted looks” or criticism about the amount on my face) and friends to make memories with.

Except this didn’t happen.. Before I opened up to people, they thought I was pretty weird, and then when I did open up, they thought I was psychotic. When I stood up for myself and expressed my thoughts and disagreed with my managers, regardless of who was in the right,  I got major backlash, and people joined together on the opposite position I was taking. I began wearing makeup and cuter, more stylish clothes (in my opinion), and people (friends, of all people) still told me that they wanted to dress me and give me a makeover, implying that while I didn’t look bad, I could look better! I would get looks from guys, but it went no where. No guys wanted me, it seemed. I also got hit on undesirably by those of the same gender. My plan to change my personality, change my physical appearance, and be my “own” tweaked version of what I thought some had told me to be like wasn’t giving me the results I wanted. It was all in vain. I had become a slightly differently-packaged version of the same me in my heart.

And that is where I am right now. I wrote all of this as if it happened to me years ago and now my life is perfect. But it’s not..because I’m dealing with this prideful insecurity veiled in self-confidence-ishness currently. These events have happened in the past few months and even weeks!!

The bitterness, anger, loneliness, fear, insecurity, doubt, anxiety, skepticism, annoyance, and more have been washing over me more and more and are becoming apparent to those around me in floods. My words and actions have been vicious and completely antithetical to the commands of the God I say that I know, belong to, and am proclaiming. I don’t drink or swear (publicly), but yet, I slap my brother when he says something I don’t like. I hate it when injustices are done to me in the workplace, but don’t refrain from letting my coworkers know that, “I hate _____.” Or the opposite happens. I pretend I like someone and am okay with their lifestyle, hang out with them, and act as if we’re cool, and then perhaps go online posting how I don’t agree with ______ (the very lifestyle my “friend” lives). Or in another hypocritical turn of the heels, I defend this person to another person in real life, while still inwardly feeling as if I’m not actually chill or okay with them. My life has become a masqueraded lie where I don’t dare be too Christian because then I won’t have any friends, but I also knowingly betray my Lord by pretending I still love Him, believe in Him, and adore Him more than any other person. God, Satan, others (possibly), and I know differently. And then I become ashamed, saddened, and embarrassed by my hypocrisy that is glaring yet often is “merely” the elephant in the room. My parents yell at me for not wanting to go to church and be fed by the Word more. They know I hardly read His Word. But I continually am caught up in the struggle of having to continue in the facade that my life has become by going to church or further distancing myself from the Only One who can set me free from this self-imposed bondage. I know some people from the outside probably think that I’m a saint by my white-washed living and my sometimes-quiet ways. But they don’t know the whole story of my life, or the spiritual journey I’m on, that sadly has gone off of the path, in the opposite direction from Him who is calling my name. They don’t know the vast number of ways in which I, too, am imperfect and am oh so very much a lost sheep. We’re all lost, in our own ways, even those of us who look like we’re obeying and following. We know, deep down, where we stand, and that we’re far from being right with the Shepherd. But we still so often are filled with pride that we keep on the mask, when we’re in certain places, that we continue to act as if we already are in an a-okay standing with Him. And then we try to act as if we don’t even know the Master when we’re in other locations. We do what we want when it best suits us.

This is why I need redemption. This is why I need help. I can’t do it on my own. God, You know that! I need Your power to help me humble myself and ask for help. Please help me give these feelings, desires, hopes, aspirations, future life plans, health issues, relationship issues, and more into the hands of the Only One who has it all figured out. Please help me give these things in life back over to Your control!

I’ve tried so long to be happy and joyful. And clearly it’s not working. My ways have come up short.

I’ve looked in the wrong places. I’ve tried to change myself on my own account and merit and merely altered a few  outward things but did not and can not alter the true issue.

It is a heart issue. I’m not being Pharisaical when I say that because my heart is far from being white and is actually slathered in “black” and dripping with sin.

I’m tired of trying to do this on my own.

God, I need You. Please help me!

Jesus, save me!

The 14 Worst Kinds of Late People

Originally posted on TIME:
“What late people don’t understand about on-time people,” comedian Mike Birbiglia says in a stand-up routine, “is that we hate them.” He goes on to make a clear distinction between two types of people: earlies and…

Lessons Learned on “Just Another Manic Monday”

Today, after working at my particular job for over a year now, you would think I would have everything down pat.

Well, customer service, food service, and interacting with people in general is always full of new opportunities, learning experiences, and both interesting and awkward moments, especially for this introverted ambivert.  For the most part, though, the day turned out to not be too bad. Here are some things that God sent my way to instruct me and help me either do better next time or as refreshing moments in the midst of a crazy Monday.

1. Never take people for granted.

One of my coworkers is on vacation this week, and that means my brother who works there as well takes over his position. And I get to take over his not-so-coveted position in the drive-thru. Basically, the usually (semi-)taut ship that is run won’t run quite as smoothly this week. And, that’s okay. But, I definitely miss S.  His value to the company can clearly be seen, as well as my brother’s. I’m thankful for both of them and the positions they take on that I could never do quite as excellent as they do. Never downplay the roles of the people God places in your life, whether it’s siblings, coworkers, friends, etc. And, make sure to treat them with the utmost respect and kindness and how you want to be treated.

2. Don’t take things too seriously.

Girl, you need to lighten up. You need to toughen up in how you talk and interact with others and that includes your emotions. People say things to help you, not hurt you intentionally.  If people seemingly are laughing at you, take it with a grain of salt. If anything, pretend they just remembered a joke right when you did something “stupid”/ “weird”. Even if they were laughing, they’re strangers. They won’t remember it by the end of the day. So, why should you?

3. Don’t forget to encourage others.

They encourage you, so be sure to genuinely let them know when they did a stellar job.

4. Listen to others’ encouragement as much as you listen to their criticism.

Each may be valid…but that’s just it.  Each is equally valid.  Remember, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important” (The Help, Kathryn Stockett, 2009). That leads to numbers 5, 6, and 7.

5. Be kind, even when you don’t feel like it or feel like others deserve your kindness.

6. You’re smarter than you think. (So act upon what you *do* know!!)

7. You’re important.  You matter where God has you right now. This idea leads to a healthy dose of self-confidence!

8. Count your blessings, even on the seemingly gloomiest of days.

You know what a bright spot is in the midst of a hectic day? A super attractive gentleman with luscious locks giving a heartfelt, heart-warming smile to a certain order taker. Needless to say, my heart melted, my manager also noticed the customer’s look, and my day was made.  Aside from the fact I now have a new favorite customer (kidding), it just shows what a smile can do in someone’s life.

9. There’s always room for improvement, and that’s where tomorrow comes into play.

Do your best, but even that might still fall short. But, don’t quit trying because of failure or the fear of failure. Learn from your mistakes. Know what you did wrong. But, move on!! Go out and excel tomorrow. Just do it!

10.  Know when to shut up and when to speak up.

Usually, I say what’s on my mind at the wrong time and don’t speak up when I actually should. I think I’ve gotten that backwards. This trait is definitely something the majority of people are still working on perfecting. Only by God’s strength and power can this problem be corrected. So, in conclusion, prayer, prayer, and more prayer is the key in getting rid of the bad and implementing the good characteristics. A right relationship with God leads to right interactions with humans.

These lessons were just a sampling of issues that I face each day and how I often want to act/respond rather than how I should.  But, just as I know you can be your fabulous, achieving self tomorrow, you can also change to give up bad habits.  Besides, changing the world and the world’s way of thinking starts with just one person.

Mother Teresa "Do It Anyway" by LADYBIRDINK

—QUOTE BY: Mother Teresa

Remind Me Why I’m Here Again?

I have been a bit delayed in writing a new blog for the past two months.  The whole month of August was a blur, as I was meeting various appointments, trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to enjoy my last month with my family, as well as preparing for college.  And, thus, I am back at the Bob after staying out a year and working at the fabulous Jason’s Deli at Polaris.  I have been here almost 2 weeks, and the love-hate feelings have come flooding back.  People back home asked why I stayed out a year, and now people here have asked why I came back.  There have been various reasons for both.  First, I stayed out in order to earn money, and still honestly could have stayed out longer to be more financially prepared.  But, I will tell you that last year was a struggle all on its own.  When I came here two years ago, I finally branched out, blossomed, and made friends, some of whom are still here, and I’ve been able to reconnect with them.  However, some, okay not just some, but many of them either graduated, left, or are staying out for an indefinite period of time.  I have come back to some wonderful rule changes and even more wonderful friends, but there are still things about Bob Jones University that I cannot honestly say I love doing and would go back home in a heartbeat to avoid having to do them if I had a way to do so.  But, alas, my parents (and I, at least earlier this year due to having basically no friends) came to the decision that not only  would I do them and myself a service by going back, but also  this is where God wants me.  So, here I am.  Sadly, the health problem that I developed/that worsened during my time here freshman year is still with me, as it was last year at the Deli.  Honestly, it’s getting to the point that I cannot stay in one location or situation for too long before people discover the problem I have.  So, that situation is one I would much rather resolve from the confines of my own home with my dog and my family back in Columbus.  But, because God knows all things and has planned out my life, He has seen fit for me to come back here.  That is why, at least for the time being, I am here again.  For sure, the classes, making meal plans, dorm life, and lack of sleep can be extremely stressful.  For me, as I mentioned above, making friends in and of itself is stressing!! Even though I’d like to complain, it really does me no good, so instead I’m going to take some space below to list reasons why God has me in this particular situation at this time, and I hope that others who may be wondering the same thing about what God has brought their way will find these reasons to be helpful.

I’m back at college, specifically at Bob Jones University, at least for the months of September through December because:

(1. It was/is God’s plan for my life right now.)

2. I started getting a degree, and I’m not a quitter.

3. There are people here whom I love dearly.

4. There are people here whom I have yet to meet and become friends with.

5. There are friends and family in the nearby area.

6. Education is important, and a Christian education is even more important.

7. I’m preparing myself for the real world; hopefully, I can apply my time-management tips/getting places on time to when I work back home over breaks.

8. It is a well-needed break from my family.

9. I can never say hello to those whom I have never told goodbye.

10. There is so much I do not know (regarding English history, science, Spanish, and the Bible), and I need a career eventually!

11. I need to learn independence.

Everyone needs a reminder now and then on why they choose to do something hard.  I hope these reasons help, and remember that true strength and peace can only come from the God of the universe.  It’s such an encouragement that He already knows what our future holds, as well as He has never let us experience something we cannot handle with His help. Resting on Him is definitely easier said than done, but it is something He has been teaching me over the past few months.  He’s got this!!

Psalm 29:11

What Hurts the Most

i try to think happy thoughts …but some days…………

And Such Is Life

You know that feeling when you get those nervous butterflies in your stomach around that certain someone?   You know the one I’m talking about.  And, if you say you don’t, you’re lying.  Coupled with that is shortened breath, pinkening cheeks, and a quickened pulse. You can’t stop thinking about him/her, and you can’t get over the fact how much you enjoy being with this person.

That pretty much means you’ve got the hots for someone.  The love bug has struck, or Cupid has shot you with his arrow.

Love is a terribly confusing, sad, crazy, and yet joyful emotion.

But, what hurts is when the person you have feelings for doesn’t reciprocate.  You care about him, but he doesn’t care about you in the same way.  He’s nice…but nice to everyone. He talks and smiles at you but about nothing of deep substance or meaning.  He never asks you…

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