NYE...and resolutions...and stuff...

It is definitely that time of year again. Honestly, it kind of snuck up on me. Christmas came and I got lost in the magic of this time of year. I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, really. I guess I've kind of jokingly made them...but almost never kept them. Last year it was to become more financially responsible and save more money. Didn't really happen. I've done the lose weight, exercise, become healthy routine. Didn't really happen. So, instead of a definite goal that I will hate myself for if I don't keep, I think I'm going to do something a little different this year.

I'm going to make a bucket list. Actually, i've kind of already started it. I have like 37 things on it already. Reading over them, I feel like a lot of them are just necessary life improvements, i.e. "learn not to cry so much over the little things." Seriously though, I am the biggest crybaby ever. I don't know how my tear resevoir hasn't dried up yet. I cry at commercials, reading books, listening to songs, over fights with friends/family, over fights between friends/family...and many other mundane life occurences. I cried once because my flower died! I didn't water it and I cried. Okay, so some of those are silly things that it doesn't really matter if I cry over them or not. However, instead of stressing out over little things and getting upset (and instigating the crying); I want to learn to channel it into something else...preferably productive, like exercise or creating something. I do like to bake and that is an outlet for me...it's jsut not that great for my hips.

Anyway, I got off topic a bit. I guess maybe my bucket list can be whatever I want it to be. I don't want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or swim the ocean, so mine are more self improvement topics. Plus, a few adventurous ideas like jumping out of a plane, visiting every continent, going on an African Safari...and a few more minor ones like taking a photography class and actually becoming decent at it, writing a book (yes, I realize it will likely never be published and that I will be the only one to read it and that it will be riddled with typos - I just feel like I have been through a lot (good and bad) in my life and I have a lot to say about it), and owning my own business. I will put a complete list on here when I get it edited fully.

The main thing I want for myself though? To not beat myself up if I don't complete every goal, resolution or bucket list item. I have to learn I have a life to live and it's not in the future. It's right now. Today is all that really matters. I'm going to take advantage of that. One day (hopefully soon) I want to be able to relate to this quote...

"Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace." ~Author Unknown


Loss and hope

My office consists of a group of 56 amazing people. We are diverse in so many different ways. We represent several different religions, races, genders, ethnicities, socio economic status', marital status', sexual orientations, eye color, hair color, sizes, stles, etc...

The one common bond we have? The love for our state and the people in it.

As an office, we decided to "adopt" two homeless families. They are both single mother families. One mother has a boy who is 4, and a girl who is 5. They live in a local homeless shelter. The second family has twin boys who are 6 and another boy, who is 4. They lost their home due to a fire and are living with random family and friends. How could we not help them?

We got a list of their needs (most of them clothes, shoes and underwear)and set out to collect donations from colleagues. The generosity we encountered was overwhelming. Not one person refused to give anything or even said they couldn't. We are all pulled in so many directions during the holidays, I really thought there would be some who just couldn't do any more. But, because it was for our office, the camaraderie was there. Everyone showed up and it was amazing.

So, off I went shopping...for 4 hours, for two little boys. The experience was heartbreaking and warming, soul shaking and haunting. All I could think about was the fact that I just HAD to buy a new dress for the Christmas party and that my whole life goes downhill if I run out of my $13 eyeliner for just one day. How shallow am I?? I'm really not down on myself. I try to do a lot for people. I love to volunteer and try to bring joy to people's lives, especially to less fortunate children. I just know that my life could be a little less self-centered. I could wear one of the many dresses I have in my closet. I could not have a meltdown if I couldn't make it to the mall to buy my eyeliner and I could certainly learn to relax and not be so concerned about the small issues that come about in my life.

I have a wonderful grandmother who is very wise. While she is sympathetic and kind, she is also pretty no-nonsense. She's been through a lot and she has had to learn how to handle the inevitable trials of life. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten from her is that when life gets you down..count your blessings. It's not necessarily what I wanted to hear at the time, but it has made me realize in certain circumstances that, no, it's really not that bad. So, in the holiday spirit and since I am in a gratuitous mood after my fund collecting and shopping experience, I thought I would list a few of my very special blessings for you (but mostly for me).

I have a home with readily available heating and cooling.
I always have the option of having a filling, warm and good meal.
So many clothes and shoes that I am actually embarrassed.
A job that I love going to every day, where I am treated well and fairly.
The right to vote, freely worship whatever God I choose, and protest my government peacefully, if I wish.
Many friends and family that love me and would do anything for me.
A reliable vehicle that I can fill with (sometimes) reasonably priced gas.
Amazing health insurance.
The ability to walk, see, hear, be in control of my emotions, and not depend on anyone else for any of those actions.
And many, many, many more...

Update: I just wrote a check for $180 for a Sugar Bowl ticket. While I am very excited about this adventure and so proudof my Hogs, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt for spending so much money on something that, let's face it, is so trivial. I only justify it by remembering that it is okay to have fun and it serves as a good reminder that I only need to work harder and be more thankful for what I have.

So, I leave with you a quote from the great Philosopher, Plato...

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle than you."


I'm ba-ack...

Oh dear. It has been three months since my last blog post. Honestly, I've all but given up. Then, my dear, far-away friend, Samantha, let me know she missed it. That made me feel good. Also, a new friend was asking me what I did creatively and I honestly couldn't think of anything, really. That made me sad. I want to be creative! All the things I do that I actually am good at creating - baking, knitting, writing - I haven't been doing lately. So...I will begin blogging again! Get excited.

Since I have written, we have won an election, (4 more years for my favorite Governor!), lost some elctions, and I have had to act like an adult for several major life experiences (car issues, wreck, house issues, life issues...) My hogs are making a major bowl appearance (pour some sugar on me!); I hung out with some pretty cool musicians (entertainer of the year,Brad Paisley!) and my first niece was born (Adelin Gale). It's been a whirlwind of a few months to say the least. I have gotten to experience some of my favorite things about fall in Arkansas...

The state fair - chocolate bacon or fried coke anyone?
Fall foliage - ummm, we have the prettiest leaves anywhere. Bar none. I'll fight ya over it.
Halloween - I was Holly Go-Lightly this year...but, in the scene when she is getting out of bed with the sleep mask and in a huge men's white button up shirt. Different and so fun.
Thanksgiving - one of my favorite holidays. I get to see my family all in one place and I always do something for someone in need. It's a win, win.
Porch sittin' weather - On my top ten list of things to do? Sit on any porch, anywhere in Arkansas with good friends and a beverage and enjoy Arkansas sunsets and cool breezes.
RAZORBACK FOOTBALL - some of the best times I've ever had have been at Arkansas Razorback games. It's a matter of pride...and competition.

I really think that's the best note to end on. Hopefully, my creative juices will get flowing again and I will come back more often. Maybe I just need some inspiration...


Uneventful events

Okay, so I'm sorry about my lack of blog writing the past few weeks. I guess it's because the whole point of my creating a blog was to write when I felt like I had something to say. That's not to say I've been completely bored. More like...not creative(uncreative? less creative? noncreative?). Let's recap a few things that have happend recently.

Roadtrip to Dallas with five girls. Okay, see, this had been planned for a long time, but panic mode didn't arise until zero minus 24 hours until the trip. Let me say it again in case you didn't catch it. Five girls. One car. Six hours. Too many bathroom stops. About half way into the trip I realized that I was not in high school/college any longer and girls are not as catty as they were back in the day. As a matter of fact, we had a great time with minimal bitchiness. The primary purpose of the trip was to see Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker in concert. Secondary, was a bit of shopping, a bit of pool time, and LOTS of eating. I highly recommend the chicken and waffles at Breadwinners, FYI.

Really, quite amazing.

Then, I went to the watermelon festival, took a pic with my oldest nephew and the gov, sweat until I was dehydrated, and met this guy...

He was so nice and talked to me about Arkansas politics. Perfect!

I mixed in some campaign events, fundraisers, baby and wedding showers, family visits, junior league events/meetings and experimental cooking. Oh, and then there was this...

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Stacey and I are a bit snobbish about musicians. This was an amazing experience!


That Little Back Bedroom

From the day I was born until I moved into the apartment on Preservation Drive in Fayetteville, I lived in a white brick house on Highway 371 just outside of Prescott. We were actually closer to a little community called Laneburg. And if you want to get really technical, my grandpa always called it Cruise Creek. There was a creek that ran from just south of our house to our farm about 5 miles away called "Little Terre Rouge Creek." This apparently means red earth in French, but we called it "Cruise Creek." I have no explanation for that.

I hope this is not too boring, but I just wanted to reminisce about my youth a little.

I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm. We had cows and donkeys. I named them all. The donkeys started off with Pretzel, Popcorn, Peanut...you get the picture. We had a vegetable garden that I helped plant and tend, and thought was fun until I knew better. I had the quinessential experiences of learning to drive on backwoods gravel roads and getting up at 2:00 a.m. during snowstorms to help birth calves. Okay, I'm not sure I actually helped, but I did have to get wrapped up in a blanket and sleep in the truck while it was being done.

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My little handprints are in two or three spots of concrete around the house. I have killed my fair share of snakes and rats. Exploring the woods was a favorite pastime. Don't worry though, I was protected by my fashionable rubber boots that were three sizes too big because they were handed down from my cousins.

I remember my grandpa laying down in the cool spot on the floor between the kitchen and living room when he came home for lunch after working in the sun. I would lay there with him. I thought it was the coolest thing ever that we could lay on the bare floor.

Not to sound too much like a country song, but it is where I learned to love Jesus. I heard my grandma's prayers at night and felt the safety as she asked Him to protect me. I found out the best lessons I would ever learn wouldn't come from college, my peers, or life experiences, but from a little white bible that I got when I was a baby. It taught me all I need to know. Everything important, anyway.

I have slammed doors in anger, stained pillows with my tears from heartbreak, laughed until I cried with happiness, hung my head in shame from guilt, and been so loved that my heart all but burst in that little white brick house on Rosston Road.

When I was growing up, I thought it was the worst place in the world to have to be. I was bigger than that, I had wings to spread and dreams to make come true. Now, I go back as often as I can. It's that sense of peace that you can't explain when you know you are loved and you can be your complete self.

Who says you can't go home?


Blackberry Santa

So, I came across this article...and it made me cringe.


Apparently, one-third of women in America check facebook before going to the bathroom, washing their face or brushing their teeth in the morning. I started thinking, do I do that? Have I done that? Would I do that? The answers are no, yes, and well...maybe.

I know you don't want to hear about my sleeping habits, but I need to give you a little background on my blackberry and bedroom logistics. My blackberry sleeps across the room from me on my desk. I did this with the hopeful (and turns out, wrong) notion that I would wake up, get up and turn it off, thereby prompting me to be chipper, awake and ready for the day.


The only thing that resulted from that bright idea was me having several stubbed, bruised and close to broken toes by tripping over evil, wooden things because of my sleepy half-closed eyes. Of course, the only thing that would make it better was to get back in bed and snuggle up in my cozy comforter and pillows. The best laid plans...

But, I digress...

So, my blackberry sits there all night chirping away, and flashing its little red light letting me know that someone or something has decided to leave me an email or text message gift. Have I checked it first thing? Yes. Disclaimer: It was only because I was either a)expecting a time sensitive email or b) looking for the latest election coverage. Honestly, I do not check facebook before I get to work. Wait, did I just admit that I check facebook at work? Usually, sometime between blowing drying the hair and finding a stale granola bar to eat for breakfast, I will check any emails or texts that the blackberry santa brought me during the night.

Sad? A little. Obsessive? I don't think so.

I have always wanted to be able to go on a weekend trip, heck even a day trip, and leave my phones at home. Not just in the car, turned off, but at home where I cannot be bothered with them the entire time I am away. Sadly, I have not been able to accomplish this, yet. The very thought of it makes me sweat, my stomach turn quesy and my mind race with thoughts of missed calls, important messages and not being the first one to know the latest, greatest breaking news.

Notice I said "yet." I will do it. I will conquer my fear/addiction and forego the blackberry to have some peaceful time with myself or with friends.


For now, I'll bandage my toes, keep my phone charged and dream of sugarplums (emails) dancing in my head.


Since When?

Did my hair like to be gray?

Did my back start hurting when I sat too long?

Did I start considering how late it was when I called my friends?

Did I start saying things like "those kids are just too young to be getting married?"

Was I 10 years out of high school?

Did I start worrying about my retirement account?

Do I rarely go out on Friday night because it's a work day and I'm just too tired because I've been up so long?

Do I have a "skin care regimen?"

Did I start complaining about the prices at the grocery store?

Did I start complaining about the price of gas?

Did the weather become my go to conversation starter?

Have I felt the need to admonish children (even if I don't know them) when they are misbehaving in public?

Have I driven around trying to find the closest parking spot to the door?

Do I have a specific day and time to go buy groceries?

Did all my high school friends get married and have babies?

Did I have a regular dry-cleaning schedule?

Did exercise become about health instead of vanity?

Do I have blog posts about becoming an adult and how weird it is?



I know a girl...

"...she puts the color inside of my world, but she's just like a maze, where all the walls continually change."

Hopefully by then end of this post, you will get the title and subtitle of this post. If not, read John Mayer's Daughters lyrics. You'll see.

I want to start out saying that this is not a sad post. It's not meant to be depressing or to envoke sympathy. It's just what has been on my mind, and always is this time of year.

June and July are bittersweet months for me. My Daddy and cousin both died on June 19, 15 years apart. In 1989, on June 19, it was Father's Day. I was six and lost the most important man in my life. My dearly departed grandfather, would have had a birthday on June 22. He raised me until I was 14, when he passed away. My dad would have been 50 yesterday. The sweet of bittersweet comes from the fact that I love summertime and I have many great memories to cherish.

I was my daddy's little princess, my cousin Ryan's annoying, tattle-telling, irritating "little" (I was 5 months younger and was constantly reminded of it) sister whom he fought with and for; and constantly reminded me of how proud he was and how much he loved me. I was my grandfather's pride and joy. He was sure I would change the world someday.

These three men loved me fiercely and I wantto tell you how their lives...and deaths have affected me.

I was barely six when my daddy died. I have exactly four pictures of the two of us. They were all happy, loving pictures filled with mutual admiration. To him, I was the funniest, prettiest, smartest, most talented, greatest thing to ever be born. I remember a huge, fun-loving, cuddly, and kind man who could throw me in the air with the greatest of ease. Unfortunately, at 29, he was still a kid himself and was taken from me way too soon. I still have great memories of him. I have stories from family and friends; and of course the one thing that can still make my grandmother's heart ache for her baby boy even after all these years - my daddy's piercing blue eyes.

When it came to Ryan, I was gray and he was all the colors of the rainbow. He was rambunctious, fun, mischieveous, and, well...wild. I was a rule-follower, a worrier, a loner, and someone who played it safe. We never admitted it to each other, but I'm pretty sure that each of us wished we had just a little piece of the other in us. We fought, hated each other, screamed, yelled, and went silent. But, before night fell, one of us would undoubtedly throw our arms around the other and say "sorry, you know I love you like a brother/sister and didn't mean what I said." He was a force to be reckoned with, and my heart aches for him more than anyone. He was the first person I lost as an adult. I had to deal with real, grown-up emeotions and heart break. His death is the reason I questioned my faith and was comforted my the answers I received. I never doubted my faith again.

My grandfather had an eighth grade education. He worked extremely hard to provide for his family. He could hardly write and learned to read by studying the newspaper every day. He loved current events and politics. He gave up a leisurely retirement to raise me. He taught me everything I know about driving, work ethic, the value of an education and staying grounded in your morals and values. If I had to choose...I'd say he is my hero.

It's interesting how the three men that have meant the most to me and have influenced me the most, were gone before I became an adult, and learned to appreciate the lessons they taught me. All I can do now is make them proud and do my best to imitate every good thing they represented.

"...Oh, you see that skin? It's the same she's been standing in, since the day she saw him walking away. Now she's left, cleaning up the mess he made. So Father's be good to your daughters."


I was made for sunny days...

This is officially my new favorite "song of summer."

I know, I know the "experts" (and by experts I mean the evening DJ on 107.7) say that it is Katy Perry's California Gurls. The following are the reasons I disagree with this prediction:

1. The video is atrocious. Two words: cupcake boobs. She is in a Willy Wonka wannabe candyland dancing around licking ice cream cones. No thank you.
2. Girls is not supposed to be spelled gurls.
3. While Snoop Dogg will always have a special place in my heart (Gin and Juice has special memories for me and no I will not tell what they are); he completely let his standards fly out the window with this special appearance.
4. I admit, the one about kissing a girl was kind of catchy. I could even handle the hot and cold and Vegas one, but this is the fourth one in a row that sounds the exact same as all of the aforementioned! Creativity people!
5. These lyrics: "Bikinis, zuchinis, martinis. No weenies. Just a king and a queen-ie." I'm not even sure what to say about this one. What do zuchinis have to do with Claifornia and summer and the beach?

I think five reasons are enough. I'm sure the Weepies won't be winning a grammy any time soon; but it is mellow, catchy, happy and you can actually understand the lyrics. That's good enough for me.

I originally intended this blog to be about how even though I complain about it being so hot, I really didn't mind the sun because it was better than cloudy, rainy, dreary days...thus, "I was made for sunny days." It turned into a musical review. I'm sorry. I do realize I'm not a music critic. Next time, I'll stick to the completely off the wall randomness that seems to find me on a daily basis.


A Dedication

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

In light of the recent tragedy at the Albert Pike campground, I wanted to dedicate this post in memory of the victims of the flooding and their families. The picture above is from a candlelight vigil that was held at the Langley United Methodist Church. Many of the victims were children. Entire families were killed.  My prayers and thoughts do not seem like enough, but it is all I can do.  I urge you to do the same. Pray for the comfort of the victim's families; pray for the search and rescue workers still searching for the missing; pray for the residents of the area whose property and belongings were destroyed; and pray for our leaders making tough decisions on when and where to continue search efforts.  It's the least we can do. 


Going to the chapel and I'm gonna get....NOT!

"Guys: a word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career."

I read the above statement in an op-ed on the Forbes website one day. The columnist states in his article that women with careers are more likely to get divorced than those who work inside the home. Then, they defined the definition of a "career girl:" She has more than a high school diploma, works outside the home more than 35 hours per week and makes above $30,000 per year.  I'm not knocking the opinion.  In fact, statistically, it is probably true. But, is the reason really that the women have careers and are ambitious or is the point more that we are in a borderline recession, or that couples are trying to juggle careers, kiddos, bills, and staying happy in their marriage? 

Times are tough...even for the single girl. I have often wondered if my independence throws guys off.  Probably not. It's probably more my tendency to be co-dependent, the extra hormones God lavished upon me that makes me cry at the most unexpected moments, and my need for perfection. Just kidding...sort of. Seriously though, I sometimes feel like the older I get, the more set in my ways I become, and the more my career progresses, the less likely I am to find a guy who appreciates all of those things. As it so happens, I am actually really enjoying those all of those things, but I wonder if it makes me less of a hot commodity. Or, maybe it's the exact opposite.  Maybe it's actually helping me weed out the guys who would never have appreciated those things in the first  place. I really like that thought! It has taken about ten or so years to get there, but I think I finally am starting to believe all my friends and family ,who, during breakups told me "he was never good for you anyway," or "you will find someone who really appreciates you." 

So, I guess the point if this rant and my reference to the article is that I am okay with people like the journalist who say that men should steer clear of successful women.  I will always want to be ambitious, independent and a bit stubborn. I will debate you respectfully, rationalize unrational points, and pump my own gas. I'll still allow you to get my drink, pull out my chair and hold the door open for me, however.  There are just some gentlemanly gestures you can't turn down.


Brick by Brick

*A big thank you to Iggy Pop for the title of this post. I had forgotten about you until I came across a long forgotten itunes playlist. It made me happy.

I don't really want to be the person who has a blog to tell about what I've done this weekend, or how my yard needs mowing or that I really need to go grocery shopping.  Not that I don't love those kinds of blogs. I have plenty of friends whose blogs I read and love that go into their live's details.  I just don't think my life is that exciting, so I try (emphasis on try) to just convey some thoughts I have rambling around in my head. This one, however, will focus on my week.

First thing, I love Riverfest.  I joined the committee this year and had the time of my life.  No sleep. Lots of walking. More drinking. Awesome music. Festival food. New friends. Exhaustion... Four days of non-stop laughing, crazy heat, tons of people and great musical acts made me glad to call Little Rock home.

Second thing, I'm sad the Delta Leadership Institute is over. I had such an amazing experience meeting new people, making new friends, gaining a new respect for the Delta, and learning a lot about myself. I must admit, at first, I may have gone into these leadership programs thinking this would be a nice addition to my resume.  Thankfully, what it really became, was a nice addition to my life. I not only learned about the Delta and DRA,but I learned how to work as a team, how to give of yourself even when you don't really feel you can, and how to learn from others that you never thought you could.

These activities have made me realize that I actually do call Little Rock home. Little by little, I have built a life here and I finally have realized that I am part of the community.  From joining organziations like Riverfest, Junior League, Leadership Little Rock, and Delta Leadership Institute to building a career, buying a house, attending graduate school and church; and making new friends. Prescott will always be my first home where I learned, well, everything about who I am and want to be.  But, Little Rock is definitely the place where I am learning to be an adult and to pursue those goals and dreams that I formed in a small southern town.

Sidenote: I started this blog last week and never got finished (go figure). Since then, I have put another notch in my belt of adulthood...I paid off my car. Those payments seemed endless. Anyway, I can now officially say that I own my own car.


A Piece of Me

I spent the weekend in Northwest Arkansas.  I visited family, went to a concert and took a tour of the U of A campus. It was a really beautiful, windy day. I haven't taken time to just walk around and take in the campus in quite a while. I'm not sure I ever fully understood how much that place would shape my life while I was there. While searching for my name on senior walk, I reminisced about my time there. I went in the buildings and sent myself on a trip down memory lane. I thought about my first day of class, when I was so terrified I missed it because I hadn't looked to see where the room was located. I remembered laughing so hard while studying into the wee hours of the morning because my friend was so stressed from finals that she went to buy us food and came back with tylenol and five packs of orange tic tacs. That was supper for the night. I teared up a little when I thought about graduating, how proud my family was, and how difficult it was saying goodbye to amazing friends.

I had life changing experiences there. The death of my cousin, Ryan was the most challenging. I was 21 and realized later that I had become an adult.  I had been through tough things before, but this time I was older. I was able to realize the impact not having him in my life would have. And it's been a tragic one. It's funny how you can look back and see how an event changed you. I was literally a different person.  No longer were things as silly or inconsequential. Family was more important, and having a bad day was not as big of a deal as it had been in the past. I thought a lot about him while I was there.

I also began to understand the value and importance of my education.  I didn't go to the greatest college in the nation.  I didn't have the best grades or the highest test scores.  I wasn't involved in every club, and I didn't go to every social event. But, what being a razorback did teach me was responsibility. It taught me about time management, social acceptance, the importance of lasting friendships, and how to handle things when life doesn't turn out quite the way you expect. Turning to God, family, friends, and some time for introspection is what worked for me. 

I'm glad I took the time to rediscover my old stomping grounds. It renewed something in me. Maybe I was getting too bogged down in day to day life.  Work. Bills. Home repairs. Activities. In college, I was free. Free to discover who I really was without these worries. Maybe I didn't figure it all out back then. I did figure out that I would keep changing, hopefully for the better; and that bad times would eventually pass, as would the good ones. So, I found a piece of me that maybe I had lost for a while in the midst of just trying to make it.


Jesus is pretty much winning...

"I love when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit." -Kahlil Gibran

I've labeled myself a Christian all my life.

I actually found the Spirit of Christ when I was 12. It changed my life. I was raised to know right from wrong and follow the rules. I didn't know why I did until I really knew Christ. Since that time, I've done my best to question my beliefs, research my religion, and argue respectfully with my peers about their own faith. Sometimes, I have even more questions about what I consider the ultimate guide for life.  And sometimes, it reinforces that deep down feeling of "I just know this is what I'm supposed to be doing."  You can't explain it really. Faith is funny that way. It's not something that can be taught, argued about or a rule to follow. It just...is.

There are many quotes trying to explain faith. "If you believe, it will happen."  "If you have faith, no explanation is necessary."   I don't buy it. I'm not a scientist, and I don't need facts, statistics, or something tangible in order to explain why I am here; living, breathing, hurting.  But, I do need to hear it all. From the well known religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism to lesser known faiths such as Cao Dai, Shinto, and Jainaism. The fact is that most of these religions have a creed of non-violence, a path towards less greed, and a practice of helping others. It makes me realize that my religion isn't the only one that wants to make the world a better palce.

I want to be like that.

I want to be less selfish and more thankful, less worried about self and have a greater concern for others. I want to have my own form of Salah every day. Salah is practiced to totally focus the mind on God and have a time of complete thankfulness and worship...five times every day. I have a difficlut time remembering to thank God for a new day when I wake up in the morning!  I want to have as my creed "True believers are those that feel fear in their hearts every time God is mentioned."  Not because He is something to literally be scared of, but because I am so fearful that I am not doing enough for Him.

Don't get me wrong, I am a Christian.  I believe in the Bible and it's prophecy and commandments. I believe that Jesus died on the cross to save  my sins all those years ago.  I believe that God will come back to earth one day and take me back to heaven with Him to live forever. I'm not ashamed of my beliefs.  I don't take them lightly. But, I do question them. I do live like I'm trying to prove them to everyone....especially to God.  I am grateful that as a young child I was not taught to believe things just because someone said it was true. Questioning and research was okay in my house. I was supposed to doubt, fear, and pray for understanding. That's something that I should be thankful for five times every day. Otherwise, I wouldn't be the person I am. A person who tries her very best to do what she can for others, who loves her family and friends with her whole heart, and a girl who has a fearful heart that she isn't using even the smallest amount of her God given ability to be what He wants her to be. So see, in my life...

Jesus is pretty much winning.


adventurous or adventuresome?

I recently explained to a good friend that he had helped me get past a fear I have harbored for as long as I can remember.  It's not the usual fears of bugs, flying or the dark.  No, my fear is of trying new things. I don't like change.  It's a fact. The problem with my fear, it seems, is that change is inevitable. Yes, our dear President made it a buzz word, and deservedly so. I'm fine with him creating change.  In fact, I think he needs to do even more. It just stresses me out when I have to think about my routine being interrupted. I like organization, a mapped out plan, and carefully thought out pro/con lists before making a big decision.  I never really considered it a problem until this friend told me that I wasn't adventurous.  

What?! Hold the phones!

It is my (unreasonable and unattainable) goal in life to please everyone and have everyone like everything I do. I also Do. Not. Like. To. Fail.  I thought if I played everything safe and didn't take too many chances, then everything would fit in a nice, neat little box to look at and be pretty. Okay, that sounds a little crazy. Maybe it is. But, rarely are people very honest with you about things you do not do well.  He wasn't saying it to hurt my feelings, but it was a reference to something that I do not do well...and I didn't like it.  So, I thought about it.  And I thought about it...and then I thought about it some more.

(Sidebar: I always try to balance negative situations by finding something positive to say.  I apply this theory in all facets of life, whether talking about someone who has wronged me, a situation that happens that is out of your control or even something I want to change about myself.  Having said that, I am very good at admitting when I am wrong and trying to fix it (even if I'm not so good with the change thing.) The only solution really, was to TRY to do something about it. )

I didn't make a wild and crazy decision to go jump out of a plane, or swim with sharks; but I did do some soul searching. I'm taking it slow. I don't broadcast what I'm doing (this was for me, not anyone else).  I journal about what I'm doing.  It helps when I'm feeling a little down or unlikeable to look back on things that, while I may not have done well, at least had tried. Sometimes I really love what I have done, and sometimes I have (literally) cursed it.  I will tell you about one thing I have done on my quest to be advenurous...

You are reading it. Starting a blog is a big deal! Okay, maybe it's just me. But, putting your life on the internet for anybody and everybody to read is a fairly big deal.  Right?  I'll admit, that's not why I was so wary about blogging. Honestly (and I can be honest here, right?) it's about people reading what I write.  Not necessarily the content, but how well I write about it. I've always thought I wrote fairly well. I'm sure I won't win the pulitzer anytime soon, but I did okay on essays and reports in school. I'm just a little self-conscious about it. Yet another thing I need to change, I guess. I'll start working on that right after I try kayaking...