Posted in Body, Mind, Spirit

Investing in Your Character

As I watch the news in the morning or scroll through my Twitter newsfeed, I’ve come to realize that a lot of us are in need of something.  Obvious and cliched answers float through my mind.  You need a hug and you over there need anger management courses.  You need to let it go.  You need to be laid.  And you need to be impeached.

Most of the time, I feel horrible as I sit behind the keyboard passing silent judgement (I would never have the balls to say what’s on my mind).  I am very aware that I’m missing something in me as well.  Life is going great for me currently.  I’m the closest to God than I have ever been before.  I have healthy and (most of the time) happy girls.  My friends and family are the best and after I came out, they have been absolutely stunning.  I’ve found the love of my life. And one of my lifelong dreams will soon come true as I am so very close to finishing my first draft of my first ever novel.  So, what on Earth could be missing from my life?

Many times I feel bored and that boredom becomes paralyzing.  I get too bored to write.  I get too bored to play with my kids.  I get too bored to talk to my love.  I get too bored to fellowship with God.  This becomes maddening to me because I am so very busy.  How could I ever be bored?

In the mornings, I read three different devotionals on my Bible app I downloaded on my phone.  One of the devotions I’m reading is called Financial Fitness by Rick Warren cuz let’s face it… I am TERRIBLE with money.  I’m getting better at it but I still have a lot to improve on. I digress.

The devotion I was reading one particular morning titled ‘Use Your Money to Grow Your Character‘ gave me an A-HA moment (one of my favorite moments to have).  I really loved this lesson because it talked about growing your character (in case you didn’t figure that out by the title) in different ways with your money.

Pastor Warren’s suggestions included purchasing Christian books and CDs.  Even purchasing classes to learn a new skill.  What a great idea!  I got bored with life because I wasn’t investing in my life.  Relationships with God, my kids, my partner, my family and friends are very important.  Don’t misunderstand when I say I was bored with the connections earlier in this post.  But I found that I was interacting with them in the same way.  Talking via text, mundane talks about how everyone’s day was.  Things of that nature were getting me down.

Investing experiences with all whom I love is what I should be doing.  Learning new skills so that I can bring more to the table during conversations is what I should be doing.  Encouraging my children to invest in themselves and others around them is what I should be doing.

This isn’t only a Christian thing either.  Whether you’re atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Muslim, or worship the spaghetti monster, you should be investing in your character.

Going out and experiencing life is another way to enrich your character.  Go to the new Thai restaurant that you’ve always wanted to try.  Go to that art gallery that you’ve always wanted to go to as you drive by everyday on your commute to work.  Talk to actual human beings (this one will be a toughy for me being an introvert and all).  Ask your kids what kind of experiences they would like to have and make their wishes come true.

You might find out a little something about yourself and your character.  And that’s always a beautiful thing!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft (Audiobook)

Title: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Stephen King
Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
Type: Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date: 10-04-00
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Publisher’s Summary (as seen on Audible.com):
“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” Here is Stephen King’s master class on his craft.

On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King’s childhood and his early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, offer a fresh and often funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King then turns to the tools of his trade, examining crucial aspects of the writer’s art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection.

King was in the middle of writing this book when he was nearly killed in a widely reported accident. On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how his need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life.

©2000 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved; (P)2000 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Review:
This little gem is a delight. I had one more credit to use on my Audible account for this month and I couldn’t decide on which book to get. I sifted through the long list of Fantasy books because after all ‘You are what you read.’ I just really couldn’t decide. I came upon this title and I’ve heard that I should read this as a budding writer. I decided to go for it.

I love listening to memoirs that are narrated by the authors. It’s an obsession of mine now.

I don’t read Stephen King novels. My girl is obsessed with them. He is her favorite author (besides me, she reassures me). I listened to his anecdotes about his life and I seriously have some major respect for this man. He talked about all of the rejection slips he got from different magazines. Yes, people. You read that right. They rejected Mr. King a lot. I suddenly felt that he was a human being and not this creature from another planet that has a magic pen and won’t share with anyone. So rude!  I also loved how he spoke about his wife.  It was so adorable.  Yes.  Stephen King can be adorable.  Don’t believe me?  Get this book.

When he got to the writing advice portion of the book, it was an eye opener! As I’m typing this, I keep hearing all of his don’ts in my head. Shhhhh, Stephen… I’ll get there. He mentioned lots of resources that I never knew existed. I am forever grateful for choosing this book.

If you’re a write, you need to pick this book up. Even if you’re not, still pick this book up! It is a great read!

“The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King
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Get On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King on Audible.com and Amazon.com
Visit StephenKing.com for the latest news.
Follow Stephen King on Twitter.

Posted in God

Blessings and Curses: Revisited

This week’s post has morphed into many different versions. After this past Sunday’s sermon at church, I think that this will be the best possible version to convey how I truly feel.

Way back in March of 2016, I was still attending my sister’s church. On one particular Sunday, we had a guest speaker because the regular pastors were in Hawaii. The guest speaker was the former pastor of the church and he is an older gentleman. And he loved preaching the fire and brimstone stuff (Blessings and Curses).  This sermon has resonated so strongly within me that I still reflect upon the whole idea of God’s blessings and curses even nearly a year after that sermon.

But it wasn’t until recently that I started to really think about how it affects my daily life and my life with God.  And I seem to have an annual “Is God really real?/What is the meaning of life?” showdown with myself.  (Which I believe is completely healthy for Christians and should be done.)  I was having a hard time grasping the existence of God from reading the actual Bible. I have found that I question God more when I’m reading the Bible. It’s so contradictory that it can be maddening. Then people of faith would just tell me “God is bigger than what makes sense.”  Which I find to be a cop out. But that’s just me.

I started to think like how fellow blogger Family Values Lesbian (I miss that girl’s postings. I hope she’s doing well with her new marriage.) thought of God.  He is like a clock maker.  He created everything and left the rest up to us.  At this point, I, also, started comparing lives. I started thinking of those who are blessed and those who are cursed.

If you really look at it, it seems as though God does not only bless the Christians and He does not only curse the sinners.  A woman of devout faith can be stricken with pancreatic cancer and die within months.  The most despicable human being can be granted the best health and long life.  So the Clock Maker God was a viable option.  It seemed like it didn’t matter who you are, blessings and curses are random and they just happen.

Not long after I started adopting this particular theology, we had a sermon at the church I am currently attending about the God we choose to believe in.  Pastor Travis said that we could choose to believe in a Clock Maker God but that’s not who He is.  Jesus came down to earth to tell us exactly what God’s character is.  He is a loving God that longs to be in fellowship with us.

This past Sunday, Pastor Dan spoke about how Christians get tied up in the logistics of Christianity. We learn to translate the Hebrew and the Greek words. We memorize the laws but we never just sit down and have a relationship with God.

With all of that information, I choose to believe in a God that loves us.  I chose to believe that He knows my name.  I, also, believe that God doesn’t bless us because we are Christians and doesn’t curse because we are sinners.  My theory is that being a Christian should make us better at handling both blessings and curses so that our lives are glorified in His name.  So, I guess I believe in a little bit of both theology standpoints.

All I know is that I am a Child of God and it’s a wonderful thing to be.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Buffering – Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded (Audiobook) 

Title: Buffering – Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded
Author: Hannah Hart

Narrated by: Hannah Hart , Judy Young
Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
Format: Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:10-18-16
Publisher: HarperAudio

Publisher’s Summary (as seen on Audible.com):

The wildly popular YouTube personality and author of the New York Times bestseller My Drunk Kitchen is back! This time she’s stirring up memories and tales from her past.

By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays delivers a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship, and fame.

Revealing what makes Hannah tick, this sometimes cringeworthy, poignant collection of stories is sure to deliver plenty of Hannah’s wit and wisdom – and hopefully encourage you to try your hand at her patented brand of reckless optimism.

Review:

Let me to start off by saying that I honestly didn’t want to have anything to do with Hannah Hart only because before Honey Bee and I started seriously dating, she had a huge crush on her. I went out of my way to not like her because I can be stupid with jealousy sometimes. I gave her a chance after Emma watched Ghostbusters and fell in love with Kate McKinnon (my celebrity crush who she wasn’t giving the time of day to). So I was like OK if she can give my girl a chance, I’ll give her girl a chance.

If y’all don’t know who Hannah Hart is, she’s one of the YouTube Goddesses. You can peep her stuff here. Educate yo selves.

This insightful memoir tells the rags to riches story of Hannah Hart. Her collections of stories are very revealing and they really made me think and reflect about my own like. Some of the stories I was like been there! Done that! Other stories, I couldn’t imagine what that would be like.

At the end of this book, I had new respect for this woman. She has been through so much and yet she kept marching on. She is completely relatable to me because she still admits that she’s a work in progress. She has a big heart and she has done so much for those less fortunate. She made me feel like I could do anything and that I should anything in my power to help those who can’t help themselves.

This is a very important book for people to read considering the way things are today. After I read it, I immediately felt the call for action.

I totally recommend this book and I recommend that you have Hannah read it to you. It’s seriously powerful to hear her story from her own mouth.

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Get Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded on Audible.com and Amazon.com

Subscribe to Hannah Hart on YouTube.
Follow Hannah on Twitter, Instagram, tumblr and Facebook.