June 19, 2025

Writing

I’m taking a Life Coaching class right now online with Liberty University. I’m less than 80 hours away from my Bachelor’s Degree (I’ve been out of High School almost 11 years now, so it’s about time). I have to say, I thought Counseling was what I enjoyed, but this Life Coaching class has rocked my socks off. My homework assigment for last week was to write a 10 Year Letter…a letter to someone important to me outlining all of the things that I envision happening over the next ten years. The purpose? To write freely and help you figure out what it is that’s buried deep down in your heart.

For whatever reason, I felt led to share it with you. Maybe one of you out there in cyber space world is trying to figure out what you want out of life. Give this exercise a go. I had a blast with this one. And it absolutely put things in perspective for me.

writeyourstory


 

Ten years ago I wrote you a letter. Gave you a list of goals and ambitions and hopes for the future. It’s time we discuss that letter. When I sat down to write it, I was a crossroads in my life. One where I felt like I was simply doing all the things that were “expected.” I was working a job that I hated and spending more time on the social media sites wishing that I was doing something else. I was scared to take the plunge. I had Holley Gerths’ “You Were Made for a God Sized Dream” inspirational calendar on my desk. The quote for June 19 was…

Life is risk. There are no guarantees. We need to also ask ourselves, “What might I lose if I don’t do this?” Usually those answers are more subtle but just as essential.

Life is Risk.
Not life is A risk.

It IS risk.

A lot of people would say that there’s no difference between those two sentences. That the “a” in there doesn’t matter.

But it does.

Because you always here people say to “take a risk” when they expect you or want you to do something bold. But that’s the point of that quote. Life itself is already risk. Waking up and getting out of bed is risk. Getting in the car to drive down the highway is risk. Drinking a cup of Starbucks coffee is risk.

So what’s the purpose of sitting on my butt and continuing to push this dream and ambition that has been on my heart for an eternity to the back of my mind like it doesn’t exist? There isn’t one.

If life is a risk already, why not take another one?

So I did.

I had my heart set on writing. That’s all I have ever wanted to do. I remember when “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks hit the big screen. I thought to myself that that had to be the most amazing feeling in the world (aside from salvation) to see your words brought to life. (Granted, Hollywood typically ruins the book with theatrics, but nonetheless…)

Words have a way of impacting people. And that’s what I wanted to do.

So I started brainstorming. I had loads of ideas for books and stories, but never knew which one to pursue. And in truth, I really felt more like all of my ideas had already been done. So, I prayed. I journaled. I watched the world around me until one day it clicked and the words were there. It took me four months to write my first novel, and another six months or so of editing and then what seemed like an eternity until the book was printed and sold in stores.

I’ll never forget the first time I walked into the Barnes & Noble and saw my name on the cover of a book, sitting with the hardback new releases.

I cried. I cried like a baby.

You were one of the only people to ever truly believe that I could do it.
Which is why that first book was dedicated to YOU.

Book number two didn’t come as easily. I actually had my second book idea turned down. That was hard for me. I thought maybe I was a “one hit wonder” and that I had just spent another two years of my life wasting time when I should be doing something else. I felt a lot of anger at that time. Both of my children were hitting adolescence and things at home pretty much remained on edge. I felt a lot of frustration toward God and really began to think he turned his back on me. That he was done with me. I stopped going to church and fell into a trap of isolation. But…he met me there. About 8 months before I submitted my second book proposal, we had made the decision to adopt. We didn’t hear anything for what seemed like an eternity. Then all of a sudden, there it was. The phone call came that said they had found the one. The daughter we have never had, but soon would.

Looking back now, I know that the reason that book proposal fell through is because we had to bring her home. Fresh and new and abandoned by her mother at only a few hours old, she brought me back to life. She brought US back to life. And we have never looked back. Had I been on a book tour, I would not have been the mother she needed. But God knew better. He always does.

All of that to say that it’s been a crazy, but wonderful ten years. There were good times, as we had hoped. And there were bad times. Really bad times. Losing loved ones, falling flat on our face, and dealing with what seemed like a never ending string of attacks by the Devil himself.

But we did it.

We overcame it. And we beat the odds we never thought we could beat. The odds no one else seemed to think we would beat either. But we did.

So here’s to the next ten. We will see what comes…

xoxo

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Where Blogging fits into the Future

Writing

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this weekend.

About my family. About our life here in Alaska. About my business. But mostly about my blog and my writing and what I want to do with it. Where I want to take it.

When I first started this blog back in August of 2008, I was a newly wed awaiting the arrival of our son living 400 miles away from everyone that I knew and adjusting to life as a military spouse. Blogging became a form of therapy that I never anticipated sticking with. It was a bare all place for me to share my struggles and emotions during some of the really hard days; it became a baby book for me to keep track of all of the things that Noah was doing; and it was a way to connect with people-other moms like me-when making friends was hard.

But, it’s been almost FOUR years and nearly 900 posts since I started this journey and I’m reaching a point where I don’t know what to do with it anymore.

Baby #2 will be here in November and I know that I want to spend as much time documenting his or her life in this small virtual space as I did (and continue to do) with Noah. But, as far as everything else? As far as the memes and the linkups and the challenges and sponsorships?

I think I’m ready to hang all of that up and let it go.

I’m never going to be a Babble Top 100 Blogger. I’m most likely never going to be discovered for my wit and way with words in this space. Mommy bloggers (unless you’re Jill Smokler) typically don’t “make it” in the writing world for very long. I know a ton of big name bloggers who are known through Social Sites like Twitter and Facebook and for their writing on places like Babble.

But, I don’t think that’s ever going to be me.

Not because I don’t have people interested in what I’ve got going on, because I do. Those of you who read and comment faithfully light up my days. I appreciate and get excited over every single comment.

Not because I think we live a boring life, because we don’t. We live in Alaska on the Military’s dime. I own a business that grew from this blog (for which I am more thankful than I could ever put into words) and I’m about to have another baby…when most days I can’t find the time to shower and put a decent meal on the table for the one that I already have).

I’m not a scary mommy or a chaotic parent or an attached parent looking to raise awareness for a cause. I’m just a mom trying to make it on my own two feet with my husband by my side and a few kids along the way. I’m a mom doing something she loves until she reaches the point of being able to really do what she dreams of doing.

I’m not a woman who likes to complain about her marriage or her husband, because frankly, I’m pretty in love with the man that I chose and our marriage works. We drive each other nuts some times, but we’re faithful to each other and both agree that life would be miserable if we didn’t have the other alongside of us.

I believe in censorship and don’t blog openly about everything that goes on in my life or with our families…otherwise we might not have anyone speaking to us. Some things, in my opinion, need to be kept private. Which is why my posts don’t stir controversy or receive hundreds of retweets a day on Twitter or dozens upon dozens of shares on Facebook.

Because I’m just me. Just plucking along at the day to day with the intention of looking back on this life when I’m 85 years old and being able to say, “Yeah. It was a hell of a ride.”

So…

That being said.

I’m still not sure where this leaves me as far as my blog goes. Rest assure that there will still be plenty of Noah and the new baby when s/he arrives. There will still be posts about stuff that I’m interested in (like my design business and the work that I do).

But, as far as my own personal attempts at reaching blogging stardom?

I think it’s time to finally drive the last nail in that coffin and realize once and for all that not only is that probably not going to happen for me, these days, I don’t even think I want it to.

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Having Someone is Enough

Writing

Growing up in a small town meant learning early on that there were two kinds of people in our little city: those who were in and those who were out. Contrary to what people try to make you believe, social stigma’s are a reality. Especially in towns and cities as small as the one I grew up in. What school you went to, what church you went to, where you associated and socialized on Friday nights…all of that put you in a crowd. You were either in or out.

It was as simple as that.

And, I’m assuming, it still is.

I made it my goal at an early age to get out of that town and make my own rules in life. Be my own boss and make my own decisions as to what I could and could not do. Not to let me life be run and dictated by social propaganda. But, when college didn’t work out for me, I was sure that I was destined to live the same life that I had always feared and avoided.

When I met my husband, I was working on Plan B to get out town and make something more of myself.

Mediocrity has always scared me. The fear that one day I would look back on my life and wonder why I didn’t just go for it. Why I was afraid to do something bigger and better than anything anyone else could imagine.

The small town lifestyle is stifling and suffocating when it comes to those kinds of dreams.

Remember Sweet Home Alabama? Remember the urgency in which Melanie felt the need to get out; to do more and be more?

That’s what I struggled with. Those are the same emotions that I battled day in and day out.

Then I married to a military man. And we had a son; the most perfect gift and most beautiful blessing that anyone had ever been given. And my desire to succeed and accomplish “big” things in this world shifted a bit.

Here I was with this brand new little miracle to take care of; a blessing sent straight from heaven, no doubt. And suddenly the desire to get out of my small town seemed insignificant and unimportant. Because, I had something more important to worry about. Someone more important.

Over the last few years, I’ve found that same desire to be someone and accomplish something big coming back. But, not for the same reasons as before. We live a military life; and the chances of us ending up settled in the same small town I grew up in, are slim to none. We get to travel and see the world; move from place to place every few years.

But, I realize now that what fuels me and drives me to succeed and accomplish and do, is my family. My husband and my son. The desire to make them proud. What fuels me is watching my son watch me chase after the things I want in life; be that a career or just being the best wife and mother I can be.

Success, I’ve learned, doesn’t come from the approval of society and those around us.

It comes when we acknowledge that we are doing something we love and can find contentment in that.

My husband. My son. My family.

They are my success.

They are my drive and my fuel.

And that is all of the encouragement that I need.

What about you? What fuels you?

 

  

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On Writing & Photography

Writing

This is supposed to be my Monday Morning Coffee post, but considering that it’s not quite midnight on Sunday evening and I’m doing my writing now, I’m just going to call it what it is: A big fat random array of words and jumbled thoughts. That I’m going to save and post first thing in the morning. And then call it Monday Morning coffee.

Because it’s my blog.

And I can do that.

I should be asleep. But, considering that the husband is working tonight (gotta love duty days), tomorrow (today?) is a holiday, the kiddo didn’t hit the hay until 11:00 pm, and Sweet Home Alabama is calling to me from the DVR…here I sit. In my favorite gray Walmart Yoga pants, munching on a carton bowl of Cookie Dough Ice Cream. And talking to you.

Because it’s my blog.

And I can do that.

And because this is the first “break” I’ve gotten all day and I’m in need of some down time.

I’ve been doing some brainstorming on where I want to go with this blogging venture. I already announced my intent to go to #BlogHer12 and my desire to acquire a few sponsors to help get me there. But, the more I think about it (and the more I send up the “call for sponsors” every month with little to no luck at actually generating any kind of revenue) the more I realize that I don’t know if I will ever be a “brand” blogger.

I have little to no interest in reviewing products. Now, if Apple wanted to send me a MacBook or Canon decide to shoot a 5D Mark ii my way I’d be more than happy to oblige.

But the little things? Those things that small companies send to anyone who will accept them?

I think I’ll continue to pass on those.

My intention, and my passion, has always been to write. Just to write. To put my words, thoughts, fears and emotions out there for people to read and connect with.

reading-writing-glasses

Blogging opened that door for me. What started out as an attempt to salvage my sanity when little man was born, turned into place of creative freedom for me. And now, as much—if not more—than ever, I want to pursue that.

Which I have no idea how I will do. You know, with running a business and all.

But, I’m going to start by cutting back on some of the things I participate in here.

As much as I love photography, right now is not the time for me to pursue it. I love, love, love snapping photos of Little Man, capturing still life shots and learning how to manipulate my camera. And I still have intentions of joining in with a few challenges here and there and including photos and whatnot in my regular posts.

But, despite the extra traffic my site gains through linking up with a dozen+ photography challenges every week, it takes away from the traffic that comes to read my actual words. And that’s what I want to be known for.

Likewise, I’m thinking of cutting down on how many times I post per week. I’m going to play that by ear, but it’s possible. I won’t post less than three times a week for sure, but I want to focus on quality content and ensuring that each post receives maximum exposure. Spotlight Saturday’s will continue every week no matter how many other times I’ve written throughout the week. But, as for all of the other stuff…I can’t be 100% certain yet how that’s going to come about.

Writing has always been in my heart. Always been my passion and my desire. I dream of seeing my work published and sitting on the shelves of the Barnes & Noble. I’ve fantasized about having a work of print go to the big screen…seeing my characters brought to life.

I’m not sure if blogging will ever get me there; I doubt very often whether or not I even have what it takes to do it. But, I also never thought I’d be running a Graphic Design Business…and I’m doing it.

Don’t forget to check out the Still Life Standout’s Winners for the month of August!

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If I were anonymous…

Writing

anonymousblogger

I’ve thought many times to myself that maybe, just maybe, I should have started this blog as an anonymous mother. Just a woman somewhere out here in this great big, wide world who has thoughts and opinions and ideas about life that she wanted to share. I’ll be honest, my life might possibly seem all the more interesting if I’d chosen to blog anonymously. Granted, the blog might not have grown the way that it has [anonymous blog=no sharing on Facebook, which is where a lot of my readers have joined in from]. But there is a lot more that I may have been able to blog about.

When my husband drives me nuts, which isn’t too very often, I could have blogged about it without worrying that his feelings would get hurt or that his buddies [who, again, may read on Facebook]. When family members annoy me to the point of yanking hair out of my head, I could write it out, vent to my hearts desire and be done with it. Without having to worry about dealing with the run-ins later. When my son does those things that are absolutely hilarious but a little too…ahem…personal to share because of the “embarrassment factor” that I’m sure we’ll run into down the road.

Oh yeah…if I were anonymous, then I could really tell you some stories.

Like the time that…oh wait…*note to self* you are not anonymous. And that story might go over so well with certain people.

So, why did I choose not to blog anonymously?

Aside from the fact that I like the attention [everyone who has a personal blog does, whether they admit it or not], I think people connect more with someone they feel like they really know. Someone they can see. It’s easier for me to read a blog when I can put a face with the “voice” behind the writing. {And sometimes an actual voice, like my friend Annie just did over on her blog…I’m a little too country, I think. Never been a big fan of hearing my voice on a microphone, etc.}

I enjoy the interaction. And despite how much easier it would be sometimes to be anonymous, I like having a voice. I like that my name is connected with my writing, my thoughts, my opinions. I watched some random movie on Netflix back when the husband was gone about a guy who wrote novels but wrote them under a different name. There is no credit in that. I don’t mean that come across in an “I’m brilliant and everyone needs to notice me” type way, because that’s not what I mean. But I believe that if you have a talent…a gift-be it writing, photography, painting, whatever-those gifts need to be recognized and put to use. Then again, some of you may feel completely different.

I had a point when I started writing this post…but the snow plow pulled up outside the window and started scraping ice and I’ve gotten distracted. Think: nails on a chalkboard. Now I can’t remember where I was going with this topic…

30 minutes later…

Okay. The snowplow is gone. Whew. I can concentrate again.

Where was I? Oh yeah…anonymous. Writing anonymously. Taking credit for your work…

My point: I think that the blog world has gotten so political that sometimes we are afraid to say what we are really thinking for fear of repercussions and ridicule. It’s easy to say what we want when no one knows who we are. I really strive to be honest and open with all of my writing. I try to not worry about the ridicule and the questions that may arise from followers. For example, my post on parenting confessions received over 150 hits the other day when I posted it. People like real. People connect with honest. I get off track at times and find myself wondering what people will think if I write about something in particular. I’m doing my best to avoid that fear and to maintain my integrity here. I’d rather blog about something that interests me and take the ridicule for it than blog about things that bore me and create no discussion.

What are your thoughts on anonymous blogging? Ever wish you had chosen an alias name when you put your first words out for the world to see? Love to hear your thoughts on this one!

*image credit

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Why women love “Twilight”

Writing

Unless you were born yesterday, you know what Twilight is. The series of Vampire novels written by Stephenie Meyer that have taken this entire country by storm. Teenage girls swoon at the thought of kissing a vampire and grown women {myself included} stand outside of theatres at midnight to watch the new film release; all while leaving the men in their lives baffled. What is it about this story that has women everywhere so transfixed?

For the teenage girls, it may be nothing more than the wide array of attractive guys that play the lead roles [Robert Pattinson as Vampire  Edward Cullen and Taylor Lautner as Werewolf Jacob Black].  But for a story to effect grown women the way that this one has, there must be something else that gets to them. Something that tugs at our heartstrings and sucks us into Meyer’s world. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and I’ve drawn two conclusions. What keeps us coming back for more and transfixed with this story is the desire for someone to fight for us the way that Edward and Jacob fight for Bella and the desire to be desired.

These two things seem simple. But for anyone who has been in a relationship for an extended amount of time-especially those of us who are married and have added children to the mix-you know that it is easy for romance to dwindle and passion to fade. And I think that these books, these story’s fill that void we feel within our own relationships. First and foremost let me say this: I strongly believe that these voids or whatever you may call them should be identified and discussed with your husband/fiancé/boyfriend. Maintaining the “spark” in a relationship is hard work…but it’s something that each couple should work on within the walls of their own relationship. But I do believe that there are things that all women desire that are found in these books. And, as with any good and well written book, we are able to see our passions and desire played out in other characters in these stories. That being said…ahem.

First, I feel that it’s the desire to be fought for that reels us in. Twilight is not the first book that has used this plot. William Shakespeare beat Stephenie Meyer to the bunch ages ago when he wrote Romeo & Juliet. It’s the same concept. A forbidden love, star crossed lovers who seem heck-bent on fighting fate to be with one another…and that speaks to women as much now as Shakespeare did back then. Women aren’t complicated. Okay…let me rephrase that. Women aren’t as complicated as men make us out to be. We long for someone to love us. Period. We want to be cherished. To be appreciated for all that we are and all that we do. We want someone to be on our side…to pull for us when no one else will, to fight for us when no one else will. And that’s the method Meyer used to capture her older generation. This ordinary girl, Bella, has found this passionate sexy vampire who spends every ounce of his time fighting for her in some way. Fighting against himself not to kill her, fighting against others who are trying to harm her, fighting against his own desires to be with her in order to give her a chance at a normal existence, fighting to get her to marry him. It’s a never ending thing for Edward Cullen. And to many of us, it is beyond grasp. Beyond recognition.

While our husbands spend countless hours pursuing us and fighting for us when they are dating us, trying to reel us in and persuade us to marry them, more often than not once the vows are said and the rings are on, the fighting stops. The passion dies. The desire we feel from our husbands fade. We feel as though we’ve lost the interest of the man that we love. I don’t know about all of you, but I am a hopeless romantic. I always have been. I watched Dirty Dancing at least ten thousand times growing up just so I could hear Patrick Swazey [RIP] say “No one puts Baby in the corner…” Most of us can’t help it. It’s the way God created us. We have an uncontrollable desire to feel and experience passion in our lives. And the storyline of Twilight resonates that within us.

Bella gets not only one man but TWO  who spend days and weeks fighting for the chance to be with her. And for most of us in the “real world” we would just like to see one put in half of the effort that these guys do. And generally that “one” is the guy who’s last name we share…our husbands. Let’s just face it ladies…men can be pretty dense and for most of them, romance just isn’t in their genes. We drop hints about how much we love fresh flowers, we leave magazines open with pictures of jewelry, and unless it’s an anniversary or a birthday, we rarely-if ever-receive a note or a card with anything as simple as I love you written on it. And the undeniable passion shared between Bella and Edward [both physically and emotionally] is enough to send me, and probably most of you, swirling. Many of us haven’t seen that kind of passion in years. That uncontrollable desire to just be with someone. To be near them, to talk to them, to kiss them…that kind of passion dies quickly once marriage commences and our guys feel that they’ve got us hooked.

It’s through stories like Twilight that we are able to experience those things again. I think that is why so many grown and married women enjoy the series. I know that I tend to over-analyze and while it is quite possible that some just enjoy the book [I myself enjoy it as much from a literary perspective as I do anything else], I think most of us, whether we admit it or not, find ourselves enthralled by the storyline and by our own desire to be desired the way that Bella is. Two gorgeous men fighting over her love, each of them battling for her soul…it’s intoxicating. And in a society where four out of five marriages end in divorce and of those four, two of them end due to infidelity; it’s hard to find something exemplifying true and meaningful love to hold onto.

Most of us grew up without marital role models. Many, like my husband, grew up in split families. The sanctity of marriage isn’t there any more and we fear that we will become another statistic. And even if only for just a few minutes a day or a few hours at a time, getting lost in a world where one girl is experiencing a love so deep and so passionate that most of us can’t identify with it, is just the break that we need. The chance to realize that we deserve marriages/relationships like that, and that if we choose to fight for one, it can be within our grasp.

So…there ya’ have it. The reason why women love Twilight. Passion, desire, romance. Simple stuff. Take notes gentlemen. Go to the RedBox and pick up a copy of these films. Your wife…..errr, you will be glad you did. 
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Don’t forget to add your link if you are joining me for No Mom Talk Monday today!! There will not be a No Mom Talk meme next week!

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When I grow up…

Writing

I’ve already mentioned before that I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. Yes, the language isn’t the most appropriate, and let’s not even get started on the unending promiscuity and fornication. Those aspects aren’t the most appealing in the world. But I’ve always adored Carrie Bradshaw. In so, so many ways she in the epitome and idea of who I once dreamed of becoming [minus her never ending struggle in the relationship department]. Living life in New York City-the place I still one day hope to be able to call “home” (even if only for a while) and making a living doing what she loves…writing. Something I continue to dream of doing to this day.

As we grow up, we change. We change our look, we change our personalities, we change our minds. I distinctly remember wanting to be about 25 different things when I was ‘young.’ [I use that word loosely here to keep those of you who know my real age from attacking me for putting myself in the same sentence with the word…and if you don’t know my real age, you can find out here.] At one point I wanted to be an Art teacher…knowing in my heart that I couldn’t draw or paint to save my life. Later I wanted to be a novelist…RL Stine and his Goosebumps books were a huge hit when I was a kid and I wanted to write lots and lots of books like him. Then, I wanted to be a Pop Music Diva, like pre-bald Brittney and pre-Lady Marmalade Christina. When I started watching ER way back when George Clooney was still playing Dr. Doug Ross, I thought I may want to go to Medical School. Pursuing a career as a Crime Scene Investigator topped my list during the early days of CSI and CSI:Miami. Later, when I discovered the work of Nicholas Sparks, Jane Austen, and when I read Gone with the Wind for the first time, I went back to the dreams of writing. And at some point, thanks to the movie October Sky and the persistence of my 8th grade Science teacher, I wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer.

What’s funny is that when I got to college, I didn’t pursue any of these “dreams.” I enrolled at the University as a Criminal Justice/Political Science major…I had hopes of either heading down the CSI path or possibly even getting a law degree. That major held up for about a half of a semester before I changed my mind and decided that I wanted to be a journalist. But, after working with the University Newspaper and taking a few classes, I realized that I really didn’t like the idea of writing for a newspaper or having someone tell me what I had to write about. Then, I was an education major. Then, in mid-2007 when I met my husband, I had just gotten accepted to Nursing School. So, I have made some pretty big leaps through the years. I have changed my ‘career’ path, more than I’ve changed my clothes. Granted, my style in fashion is a wee bit more conservative from my college days.

I went from this, to that:
college grownup
In a matter of about 4 years or so. But that’s not really the point, I don’t guess. To show you that I’ve learned to wear more than just a few shreds of fabric and call it clothing. Ahem.

Now that I am older, however, I’m starting to really wonder what I’m going to do with my life. It’s a constant state of pondering for me. I go back and forth non-stop. I always feel so torn between what I want to spend the rest of my time on this Earth doing. Those of you who read my blog often know how much I love being a mother. Being a wife and stay-at-home mom has by far been the biggest blessing in my life. But, now that Little Man is getting older-slowly but surely-and we are beginning to talk about putting him in preschool for the social and educational benefits. Which will leave me with the chance to return to school to finish up the 100 different degrees I started.

And as I mull over paperwork and online college applications, I find myself thinking, What do I want to be when I grow up? And I always come back to the very same answer…quite simply, I just want to write. I don’t know what, I don’t know for whom, but I want to spend my days putting words on paper…err computer. And I want to take pictures. My passion for photography has only grown stronger over the past few months, and I am certain that when I land in Alaska surrounded by what I hear to be the most beautiful scenery in the country, I know that that passion will expand even farther. So that leaves me where? To be honest, I’m still not quite sure. I know that God has something planned for me, and that there is a reason that after all of these years, after every other path I’ve tried to pursue in life, I always come back to the writing. Always back to the words; to the pen and paper.

So what about you? What do you want to be when you grow up? All limitations aside…if you could pursue any career, what would it be?

Here’s to a GREAT weekend!

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30 Days of Truth

Writing

I will admit, I don’t blog hop around very often. {hangs head} I visit the readers who visit me and leave comments, a few close bloggy friends that I check every single day {sometimes more than once}, and a few “guilty pleasure” blogs that I check a few times a week. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy finding new reading material, because I really, really do. I just don’t have time most days like I would like to sit and read and search and seek out new blogs. That’s why I’ve found a lot of my readings through those who follow and comment here. If you are looking for a new reader, or a new follower, most likely you’ll get it from me if you leave me a comment or two and let me know you’re around…you know, in case some of you want to leave me lots and lots of comment love and make me feel cool were wondering.

Noah-2 years 299During one of my guilty pleasure reads, I discovered this fun little
Writing Prompt that I have so earnestly decided to take on. With everything in life going topsy-turvy these days, I figured a good outlined writing prompt would do me some good. The Project is called 30 Days of Truth. In theory you are supposed to write about one prompt for 30 consecutive days. Well, being the rebel that I am, I’m just going to do 30 Days {or fewer, because some of these prompts I’m not quite sure I’ll blog about…} whenever I get around to it. These are going to be my backup themes, if you will. But they are certain to be interesting. Definitely will you learn a few new things about me that you might otherwise have never, ever known. I’m opening up the door to all (okay, well some of my little secrets) and letting you guys in.

So…if you think you might want to join in, feel free! I won’t do a linky or anything because, like I said, I’m not going to designate days. But if you need a little writing encouragement, a few prompts to get you out of your creative rut, then feel free to snag this idea. It wasn’t mine to begin with, anyway.  🙂

So here you go. The questions I’ll be answering for my 30 Days of Truth Project: {like I said, please ignore the designated days because I’m very liable to jump around and write on different ones at different times…}

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself.
Day 2: Something you love about yourself.
Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 8: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14: A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25: The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28: What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30: A letter to yourself: tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.

I’m not starting today…my first truth is set to go up on Monday! I’ll be using it in addition to my No Mom Talk Monday meme! I can’t wait to get started, and I hope some of you will join in with me on this journey. It’s going to be interesting and very exciting. Especially when I get around to the politics and religion question. I think I know my readership well enough to know where most of you stand on Religion, but Politics could be interesting.

Don’t forget to continue to spread the word about No Mom Talk Monday! If we can get 15 people to link up, there is a Giveaway in store!! So go…spread…share…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I’m planning to enjoy the Crimson Tide’s Homecoming Game against Ole Miss and looking forward to a girls night with my sister on Saturday. Ohhh and keep your eyes peeled for Little Man’s two year portraits at the Pumpkin Patch!! Excited!

::HUGS::

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Mediocre Living

Writing

I admit, I have always struggled with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. While I can’t really place an exact reason as to why I have always felt this way, I think I can trace most of it back to my junior high days. I was a “late bloomer” {and I do mean late…talking 8th and 9th grade late}and I remember always feeling less than my friends. I was the classic sidekick to the popular girls, the less attractive & less interesting friend. And despite the fact that I am married to the most wonderful man in the world and have the worlds cutest little boy [I’m not at all biased, am I?] I still find myself questioning and doubting myself.

While I pride myself in being able to forgive people when they hurt me; being able to let go of things that most people wouldn’t let go of so easily and move on, I have a hard time being so generous with myself. I hold past mistakes over my own head and I’m very, very critical. I am quite easily my own worst critic.

I’ve always felt like I was semi-talented at a few different things. I’m a good writer, but no Nicholas Sparks or Jane Austen. I’m an okay photographer, but no Ansel Adams. I’m alright at graphic design, but no where near as talented as many of the ‘blog designers’ out here on the internet. I have some talent in different areas, but I’m just not excellent or immensly talented at anything in particular. Or so I think.

I’m reading “How to Hear from God” by Joyce Meyer and I have to admit that it’s making a lot of difference in my life. I’m learning how to actually listen for God and how to expect to hear from him. Now that I’ve started to keep an open heart and a receptive ear, I’ve began to hear him speaking to me quite frequently. Just this morning, when I was thinking about this blog post, Little Man accidentally turned the TV. Ironically it landed on Joyce Meyers “Enjoying Everyday Life” telecast. She was interviewing John Maxwell about achieving goals and doing God’s will. He said something that really stuck with me, “If you want to do what I do, then are you willing to do what I did?

I started thinking about that, and I really felt like God was trying to tell me something. I have the talent inside of me to do whatever I want to. I just have to set my mind to using it. The Bible says that God gives all of his people spiritual gifts…talents and abilities to bring honor and glory to HIM. I know we all get in a slump where we wonder what on Earth we are supposed to be doing in life…we are unhappy and discontent with where we are and what we’ve got going on. But I think that it’s in these times that God hones our abilities and our talents to prepare us for a plan that only he can see.

Since our move to Florida in 2008, we’ve been in a period of waiting that has caused both Josh and myself a lot of frustration and impatience. We’ve waited and waited and waited and felt like our lives have been on hold. We’re in that awkward period of military life where we have to put our Faith in God and trust that his plan is right. Hubby has been on the list to go to A-School since we got here just about, and his time to go is finally almost here…it feels like things are finally about to begin for us and neither of us could be more excited. He’s finally going to get to do what he wants to do, we’ll be moving up North {hopefully} and I’ll finally be able to return to school. Something I’ve been dying to do since we got to Florida.

And it was while I was thinking about all of this last night before I fell asleep that I realized that this period of waiting has been to God’s glory and for his reasons anyway. It’s been during this 2 year time period that he has shown me what it is that I love the most in life [other than my husband and my son]: writing, photography and graphic design. He’s used these last two years to show me new things and new passions and new interests; he’s grown my blog into something that I am very proud of and that I think many of you enjoy. He’s turned my writing into something that brings him honor and glory and that I feel he uses to reach others. I have found a love for beautiful pictures that I’ve never known before…something I spend hours online studying and learning. And I’ve found an immense interest in blog design.

Before we moved to Florida, I was taking classes in a wide variety of areas, wandering around aimlessly looking for something that I loved-and now I’ve found it. Hubby has waited and waited to do what he wants to do, and his love and passion for the medical field has only grown stronger. And God’s shown him what he really has planned for his life in the long run. This period of waiting has not been in vain. And these thoughts of mediocracy and inadequacy I feel are not only completely untrue, but they are sinful.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

God has a plan for me. I have a purpose in him. I have talent and abilities. The passions and the interests that God has shown me and revealed to me, are there for a reason. And I’m not going to stop trying to figure out what God wants me to do with them. And you shouldn’t either. Each and every situation, each and every person God puts in our lives is in perfect preparation for a future that only he can see. I will write. I will study photography. I will continue to learn graphic design. Because I know that for whatever reason, this is where God wants me. This is what God has for me. And that in itself, is a good enough reason for me.
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courtney kirkland

live life known.