Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morning Randomness

I apologize in advance for this post. I stayed up super duper late last night in order to watch the San Francisco Giants win the World Series, so now you people have to deal with the scattered thoughts of a sleepy brain. I’m just thankful that they didn’t lose last night, because then I probably would have stayed up late tonight as well to watch them again. I’m not sure my brain could’ve handled that. And for those of you who were wondering: yes, I was late for work this morning. But it’s not my fault, I totally blame the Giants.  
I decided what I’m going to write my book on. Or at least, I think I decided. I’m guessing that the book-writing process may go like the blog-writing process, where I think I know what I’m going to write about, but then the end result winds up being totally different. So maybe I should just say this: I have a general idea on the topic I would like my book to dance around. And hopefully it will have good enough dance moves to attract some choreographers…a.k.a. publishers. Okay, that was a lame metaphor. Forget I said that.
And no, I’m not going to tell you what the dancing topic is just yet, for two reasons, no wait, three reasons. Reason #1: My husband still hasn’t heard my idea. And he’s my soundboard for all of my ideas. So if he thinks it’s lame, then I’ll probably change it. And if he doesn’t think it’s lame, I still may wind up changing it after we talk about it because I may decide for myself that it sounds lame. Some things sound really good in your head until you speak them out loud. Just sayin’. Reason #2: It’s my idea and you can’t steal it. Haha. I will tell you that it will not be fiction and it will be about God...which means that I will have to do a ton of research on Scripture. I think that will be a really good thing for me though, and hopefully the future readers of my book; even if the only people who read my book are my Mom and my husband…..  Reason #3: I’m a bad dancer. Oh wait, I told you to forget about that metaphor. Forget about Reason #3 as well.
I did start research today on how to write a book and get it published. Well, if you call it research. Really all I did was type into Google: “How to write a book and get it published for dummies” and then clicked on the website at the top of the list. I know, very intelligent of me. I’m off to a great start, aren’t I? Surprisingly though, it was a really great website with all sorts of tips like how many words you should aim for and how you should edit your manuscript. It also listed some helpful books on how to write a book that I apparently should read. Funny, I need to read a book about writing books so that I understand the process of writing a book. But you know what I’ll probably do? Read the book. Because if I’m not going to do things right and give myself a good shot at getting published, then what’s the point of writing it in the first place?
In other news, I made up a new word over the weekend: creeptastic. Roman loves it and you should all make an effort to say it as much as possible when speaking with him. Here are a few examples of how to use it: “That cow is staring at me. That’s really creeptastic.” “Wow, that dude is creeptastic.” “My cats are always prowling around the house. They’re creeptastic.”
Roman may tell you he hates my new word, but in reality he is just mad that he didn’t come up with it first. I’m still trying to figure out how I can incorporate my new word into my book. Also, who knows who I need to contact to get it into the Dictionary? It would be so great for me to use “creeptastic” in a sentence and then pull out the Dictionary and prove it’s a word when someone tries to accuse me of making up stuff. Is it creeptastic that I would carry around a Dictionary in the first place?? No, I think that just makes me a nerd. But I would be a creeptastic nerd if I carried a Dictionary while hiding in the shrubs outside your house.
Anyways, one of the things I read on that website was that you need to do everything you can to promote your book on social websites and blogs. So since this is my blog, I can (and will) totally promote my own book. So if/when I do write my book please buy a copy, or else I will hide in the shrubs outside your house while carrying around a Dictionary and a copy of my book. It’ll be creeptastic. Shablam.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Books, Zombies, and Dreams

Last night I dreamed that my mom and my brother were zombies. The whole thing was quite strange, because I didn’t look like me, and my mom and brother didn’t look like my real mom and brother…..yet I knew that the person in my dream was me and that the other people were my mom and brother. Strange. It sure is awkward though when you’re trying to buy lemonade from a lemonade stand and all of a sudden your mom starts gnawing your fingers off. It’s even more awkward when you go to a movie theater to try and escape your sudden zombie-family and the employee is trying to sing karaoke while the previews are playing. But he was a pretty good singer, so maybe he should audition for American Idol or The Voice. Too bad my brother followed me and started eating everyone…..
I have really weird dreams. Trust me, the zombie dream is nothing compared to some of the stuff my sleeping mind has come up with. I’m pretty sure I could give Hollywood a run for their money in the “strange movie” arena with some of my dreams. Case in point: I once had a dream that aliens invaded the earth and drove around in those big white Astro vans, kidnapping people so they could study them and then locking them away in dungeons. Me and a group of friends were some of the only people left on the face of the earth that hadn’t been kidnapped. So naturally we decided to wait at McDonald’s for an elite group of alien hunters to pick us up in their mock-up alien Astro van so that we could join them in their quest to free mankind from their alien masters. I don’t know about you guys, but that dream is movie material. Seriously, if a movie like Independence Day can be so popular, then surely my dream movie could make me some money. (PS: if I see an Astro van alien movie come out, I’ll know you stole my idea and I will sue you. Haha.)
What’s so crazy is I don’t even watch alien or zombie movies. I mainly watch comedies, a few chick flicks, and TV shows like NCIS and Law and Order. So I guess I’m just super good at soaking in movie previews that play in the commercial breaks and turning them into dream-movies. Or my brain just gets really bored while I sleep so it decides to exercise its creativity. That means I’m a brilliant person like Einstein, right? Yea I know, it’s a stretch.

Not so related to my current topic whatsoever, but I chose last night to reveal a “secret” to my husband that I’ve been bouncing around in my head for quite some time. It was late and he was just getting ready to drop off to sleep, but the conversation went something like this:
Me: Hey baby, you wanna know a crazy secret?
Him: Sure.
(Because who doesn’t want to know a crazy secret about their spouse? He probably thought I was about to tell him something really crazy about my awkward middle school days. Or my awkward high school days. Or my awkward adult days. Scratch that, he probably knew that I said “crazy secret” just to keep him interested long enough so he wouldn’t fall asleep while I was talking.)
Me: I’ve been thinking about writing a book.
Him: Do it. You’d be good at it.
Me: But I have no idea what I’d write about.
Him: You’ll think of something.
And then he went to sleep.
Shablam. So now all you people know my secret too. But I wasn’t kidding at all. I would love love LOVE to write a book, but I have no clue what I would write it on. I could just take all of my alien zombie dreams and put them into a book, but that could result in me being labeled as insane and placed in a straight jacket. I’ve also thought about some other topics, but it resulted in a brainstorming session that turned out like this:
Title: “How to Survive Being a Newlywed, Full-time Employee, Full-time Student, and Being Involved in Two Ministries without Going Crazy”
Manuscript: Eat lots of chocolate.

Title: “How to Lose the Fifteen Pounds You Gained from Eating all that Chocolate While Being a Newlywed, Full-time Employee, Full-time Student, and Being Involved in Two Ministries”
Manuscript:  It’s not worth the effort. Just eat more chocolate.

Title: “How Do You Deal with a Cat that Ate Jesus off the Family Bible?”
Manuscript: He’s a cat, there’s nothing you can do. Except don’t buy another Family Bible, because he’ll just eat that Jesus too. (Oh snap, that rhymed. Maybe I could turn this into a poem?)

I’m good at making stuff up, but I’m not sure I could come up with enough materiel on those topics to write a book. And then I would still have to take all of that made-up stuff and try to get a publisher to accept it. That would probably also result in me being labeled as insane and placed in a straight jacket. Or it would make a lot of publishers snort milk out of their noses from laughing so hard at my plight to become an author. Or both.

No really though, I would like to write a book. I just have no idea what it would be about. So I’m totally open to any suggestions if you have any. And in the meantime, I’m going to keep brainstorming and writing this blog. I’m sure if I’m meant to write a book then I’ll stumble on a topic one day that I’m passionate about enough to actually research and write about it.

That’s kind of my problem though, I’ve got a whole of things that interest me and I’m not sure what to do with all of those ideas that run through my mind. Here’s a taste of my thought process (you may want to eat some chocolate first before reading this maze of thoughts, because it may cause your brain to explode….)

“I really loved Spanish in high school. I also really loved going to Peru. Maybe God wants me to be a missionary to Peru one day. I should probably get back familiar with my Spanish, especially since there are a lot of Hispanic people in my community that I could be ministering to right now. That reminds me, I need to be educating myself more on the piano, since music is my current ministry. I haven’t really worked on that in a while. You know what else I haven’t done in a while? Spent time with my horses. I really really really really need to do that. I would love to have a farm one day with lots of horses. I would love even more to have a therapeutic horse riding facility for special needs kids. I love special needs kids. I love kids. I hope I start having kids soon so I can be a mommy. Except I want to be a stay at home mommy. But I can’t quit my job. Oooh! If I blog and write full-time and make good money off of that then I can be a stay at home mom and still have a good income. I could just be a teacher later on and teach at the school my kids go to. Then I would be able to be off on the same holidays and drop them off to school and pick them up too. But then I’d have to go back to school and get a teaching degree. Which means I would need to save up for school…..which means I need to stay in the job I have so I can earn money. OR, I could work full-time in ministry one day and just be able to home-school my kids and take them with me to church. That doesn’t require me going back to school, which is a lot cheaper. Speaking of cheap, I really need to find some cheap tires for my car….”

I can 100% guarantee that this thought process runs through my head at least once a day, usually more than that. And quite honestly, there are some days where it for-real stresses me out. I take that back, most days it really stresses me out. Which usually results in me praying something like this: “God, will You please just tell me straight up which direction You want me to go in? Because I have NO clue which path I’m supposed to take. Why does everything have to interest me??” So when I ran across an article titled “Stop Waiting for God to Tell You What to do with Your Life”, I immediately clicked the link to the website and prayed my computer would stop acting like a stubborn turtle and just display the stinkin’ page already. The article was written by Justin Zoradi and included all sorts of motivating statements and “aha moments” like this:

“We all want to do meaningful work and find our passion, but I can guarantee you this: Your purpose in life will never be written on the wall. And it will never be revealed to you in full.”
“You want to do meaningful work? Stop sitting on your hands waiting for God to tell you what to do.”
“I believe God joins us only when we take that initial risk. If you have a tiny twinge of passion toward anything, you have to jump right through it on your own. It is there that God will meet you.”
The problem is (as evidenced by my above thought process); I have all sorts of things that I am interested in. And there are even more things that I haven’t mentioned yet, such as: freeing girls from human trafficking, be an advocate for pro-life, be a stand-up comedian on a cruise ship so that I never have to leave said cruise ship (except that wouldn’t work because when I tell jokes I always start laughing before I get finished, which sort of ruins things), be a fitness trainer (my gym’s logo would say: come workout and then we can go eat chocolate), own a coffee shop, tour with a Christian band….. you get the point. So it’s hard for me to read that statement “if you have a tiny twinge of passion toward anything, you have to jump right through it on your own…” because there are literally about fifty things that I have at least a tiny passion for, and seeing as how I enjoy sleeping and I am unable to do all fifty things at once, I decided that my first pursuit would be the book-writing thing. I mean, I’ve been writing all sorts of stuff since I was first able to write, so maybe writing will just be my hobby. If it takes me somewhere, that’s great! If not, then I’ll just start producing movies based off of my dream. Oh, I kid. Besides, if writing a book is not what God wants me to do, then I’ll fail miserably and I’ll still have 49 other dreams to pursue. Sounds like a no-fail plan, huh? Well, unless I actually pursue each and every one of my 50 ideas and all of them come up short. Then that would be a fail. But at least I could say that I had a super interesting life, right? So then it would sort of wind up being a success.

At the end of the day, all I know is I’m just super glad I woke up with my right hand in-tact and covered with skin. Because it was weird for my dream-self to see my right hand with no skin, not to mention a little bit gross. And obviously, I’m glad that my mom and brother are actually not zombies and I’m definitely glad that theater employees don’t sing karaoke while working.  Oh crap, I just saw an Astro van outside of my house…..

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’”    ~Hebrews 13:5

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Helper

I haven't written in over two weeks. Sorry 'bout that! I've had many things going through my mind, and I've had a pretty rough month so far. So I haven't been writing much because I didn't want this blog to become a place where I put all of my "drama" and complaints. What can I say? Sometimes we go through stuff. And this particular brand of "stuff" was a little too personal to post all over the internet. But enough of that.

I ran across a devotional today that really got me thinking. The Scripture that went along with the devotion was Mark 16:19-20 "After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it."

I've always just had that visual picture in my mind of the disciples watching Jesus ascend into heaven, and then turning around to head back home. Of course we know that they returned and waited for the Holy Spirit to be sent to them. And we can figure that they probably were a little sad to see Jesus go. But one thing I never thought about before was how easy it would have been for the disciples to get discouraged. I wonder if any of them had thoughts like this:

"How am I supposed to perform miracles like Jesus did? I'm just a man......"
"Am I really good enough to follow in His footsteps?"
"What if I get something wrong?"
"It was so much easier when Jesus was with us. This is too hard for me!"
"I'll never be able to live up to the standard Jesus set. I hope He isn't mad at me for failing so much."

I won't ever know what the disciples truly thought after Jesus left. But I can bet that they all had at least a few moments of self-doubt and discouragement, especially in hardships. After all, even though they did great things, they were still human.

We are all called to do different things. Some of us are really secure with ourselves and able to grab the task at hand with full confidence. Many of us, however, are plagued with feelings of doubt and low confidence in ourselves. But you know what I find really awesome? God doesn't force us to walk through our lives by ourselves. We have His help! Just like He did with the disciples, God sends the Holy Spirit to us to strengthen us and guide us as we fulfill our calling. And Jesus said that through the Holy Spirit we would do even greater things than what He did while on earth. Wow!

We will all go through times where we feel inadequate and very very small. But keep your head up! We have God on our side while we are working to fulfill our calling, and we have Help that can enable us to do great things if only we believe. For someone like me who constantly struggles with self-doubt, this message is like a lifeline. I was so encouraged to read this today and to realize that I truly am not alone. Even the disciples probably had doubts and fears, especially at the beginning, but like the disciples, I too have the Holy Spirit to assist me every day. And it is true, I don't have what it takes to get the job done by myself, but with the power of the Holy Spirit I am empowered to do great things. Hallelujah!

If you are unfamiliar with the Holy Spirit, I greatly encourage you to grab a concordance and dig deep into Scripture. Learn about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and begin to seek that for your own life. I have only been baptized for a year and a half, but that day changed my life forever....and I know He will do the same for you.

That's all I got for today folks! I hope this encouraged you as much as it did me. I feel like things are getting much better for me, so hopefully I will get back on top of my writing schedule.  ;)

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen."                            ~Ephesians 3:20-21

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ketchup, Anyone?

I've decided that I have been much too serious here lately and have left out the main thing this blog was created for: Life. With us. So here's what's been happening lately in a high school yearbook superlative type format........

(PS: I actually wrote this yesterday. But I was super lazy and didn't add the pictures until tonight. Yay me? haha)

Cutest dog ever: Duke. Our big guy turned one year old on August 29th. We had cake and everything. Aw, my little baby is growing up! Let's take a trip back in he is at 3.5 months old. How adorable!!

Most surprised: My parents. After we threw them a surprise 45th Anniversary Party with my siblings and the help of my in-laws. Well, it was mostly a surprise. My parents saw one of my sisters pulling into my driveway. But still, hats off to the five of us for keeping it a secret until "the day of".

Best view: my backyard. I love sitting out on our back deck and gazing at all the wide open space we have back there. Well, it's not "ours" but I still get to stare at it. Winning! Here is Duke playing fetch in front of our neighbor's pond. He loves all of the running space out here.

Best dancer: This guy. Roman found him hanging out on our back porch. He was rocking back and forth to the music Roman had playing on his phone. Roman named him "Manny". Typical.

Most anxious to get back on a boat: Me. I spent a few minutes this morning gazing at pictures of our cruise back in May. So if anyone wants to stuff me in their car and drive me to the nearest port, I'd be most thankful.

Randomest guy I know: Jeff. Random Jeff, to be exact. He's not a real person. Just someone one of our silly friends came up with. But Random Jeff is dominating our Facebook posts right now. And he has an otter that needs grammar lessons. Know any tutors?

Worst thing to get in your eye: toothpaste. And yes, I was the one who got all brilliant and figured that one out. Somehow I managed to get it in my eye. I thought I would go blind. It was traumatic.

Most likely to get in trouble: Ralph. Dang cat keeps trying to run out the door. He has turned into quite an escape artist. We've contemplated just letting him out for a few minutes a day with us going outside with him, just to curb his curiosity. But he has no front claws and there are woods right in front of our house. I just can't bear the thought of him running off and us not being able to find him. Here's the little troublemaker playing in a box a few weeks ago.

Most up to date on the newest cell phones: that would be my husband. Because, you know, he works at Verizon and stuff. So he's kind of "in the know" so to speak.

Most likely to need surgery: me. Unfortunately, me and this right knee of mine aren't getting along too well. My doctor is going to try one last thing over the next four weeks to see how it does. But if it still decides to not act like a normal knee, then this girl is going under for some surgery. I hope they let me eat ice cream afterwards. I'm totally okay with surgery if I get ice cream. Chocolate, please!

Biggest planners: us. We've been planning all sorts of things. From hypothetical plans like what we would change in our house if we were to buy it one day, to "more real" plans like when we are going to start a family. HINT: not now. Bet I got some people all excited on that one. Sorry mom.

Biggest drama queen: Duke. Seriously, I wish I could just follow him around with a camera all day and then post the video here so you guys could see. He's a ham. And totally spoiled.

Best job: that's a tie. Roman and I are seriously loving our new jobs. Seriously.

Most likely to be on time for work: Roman. He came close to being late one day. I came close to being on time one day. Oops.

Most enjoyable life: ours. Sure, we have some crazy things going on in our checkbook right now. But all in all, we are loving our life. School has long been a thing of the past. We have a great home that we are cozying up in. And everything is just generally going smooth right now. We are truly blessed!

Craziest dream: mine. Short version. My father-in-law was president of the United States. Roman and I were his secret security. We rode on a helicopter. The pilot was mean though and wouldn't land during our eleven hour flight so I could pee. Said the security of the president was more important. Psh. Please. Mean pilot.......

"I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."                                                                     ~Psalm 16:8-11