Archive | July, 2012

Intro to “Cobwebs in Her Mind”

30 Jul

“Cobwebs in Her Mind” is the book I am currently working on. It is the story of a woman who has to overcome her past (the cobwebs) to move on with her life after being attacked.

I am finally going to be brave, and share some of my story here on my blog. This is the introduction to my story. I welcome any constructive criticism that anyone would like to share. I have to warn you, this is a little lengthy (around 2000 words), so keep that in mind before you begin.

 

Intro

Soft music wafted in from behind the closed door as she continued to get dressed. Everyone was waiting for her outside that door, wondering how she would look and anticipating the upcoming event. This was her big day. The day a girl dreams about from childhood. She had not been this happy in a long time, or this nervous. It was amazing how quickly she had gone from calm just yesterday, to a ball of nerves today. A quick look into the mirror to check her finishing touches gave her a thrill. The dress was gorgeous; fit for a princess. It was simple but elegant, long and sleek with little roses beaded along the hem. The roses were the only detail to the dress, besides the lace that circled the waist. The lace was beautiful and delicate, adding just the right touch for her perfect dress on her perfect day. Yes, the end result was perfect. The music continued softly outside as she admired her reflection, allowing herself to believe she really was beautiful on this of all days. Even as a chronic pessimist, she was absolutely willing to believe that nothing could go wrong today.

As she did one last twirl in front of the mirror, the texture of the lace on the back of the dress caught her attention. Instead of the beautiful, delicate draping she had admired when the dress was first discovered, there was now a thick, stringy quality to it. When reaching back to check it out, she realized that where the lace should be, there was now a sticky mass surrounding her. She turned to look at the front and saw that she now had on a dress draped in what appeared to be spider webbing. That small window of optimism suddenly left. She could only think one thing. “This isn’t right. I’m only imagining it.” This thought replayed over and over as she continued to feel the sticky mass all around her. She closed her eyes and opened them again. The webbing was still there. What is going on? This was supposed to be a happy, perfect day.

Everyone was still waiting on her, but she couldn’t go out that door. Not like this. She closed her eyes again as tears began to well up, hot and stinging behind  her closed eyelids, unwilling to accept these circumstances as being real. Sweat began forming on her forehead as she pushed back the tears, her breathing came in short gasps; her eyes stayed tightly glued shut refusing to acknowledge what had been seen. She spoke aloud to herself, “this isn’t happening. When I open my eyes my dress will be back to normal.” She chanted the words “back to normal” to herself over and over again until she finally mustered up enough courage to take another look. One eyelid slowly rose up, allowing her to peep through a small slit to see the reflection in the mirror. A heavy sigh of relief escaped her mouth as she opened her eyes fully to once again see the beautiful dress from before what she could only chalk up to a  panic attack. Not being able to fully understand what was happening to her, she lost herself in the buzzing of questions racing through her mind. “Why am I so nervous and afraid? I should be walking on cloud nine right about now. Why am I imagining something so crazy on a day that is supposed to be filled with joy?” Was this just the normal jitters of a day like this, or was she going crazy?

She turned her eyes up to the ceiling drawing in a deep breath to catch her bearings. If she could just relax, everything would be fine. The scenery around her was somewhat calming. Her dressing room was painted a subtle white color with almost a pink hue mingled in. As she surveyed the beautiful white of the room, getting ready to exhale, she suddenly froze in terror.  A huge black spider was dropping from the ceiling towards her and she couldn’t make herself move. Spiders had always frightened her, as long as she could remember. There was no reason behind this fear necessarily, no scary moment in her life that dealt with spiders, but still… Her mouth flew open, but before she could let out the scream welling up in her throat, her best friend swung the door open and gave her a little tug out the door. “Come on, everyone’s waiting for you.” She took a quick look behind her before the door closed and found that she could no longer see the spider; another panic attack? It was hard to shake off the fear that had gripped her in that moment, until she looked down the aisle of the church and saw him standing up front, just waiting for her with that gorgeous smile of his and those gorgeous eyes watching her. Seeing that smile gave her the ability to forget her crazed imaginings and once again believe that everything would be okay.

Her gaze slowly moved from her wonderful groom to scan the crowd of eager faces around her. On the front pew she could see her mom and dad beaming at her as their eyes sparkled from the standing tears. This moment was just as she had always pictured it; that bittersweet moment when she really was no longer just their little girl. Her dad made his way to her, ready to walk her towards the front. As he arrived at her side, he whispered “I love you”, his smile made all the better from the shining of tears in his eyes. She smiled and looked back towards her mom who was mouthing the same words. This moment where all three knew she was being given over to the care of another person somehow made her feel closer than ever to her parents. This was going to be the perfect day after all. The music swelled as people began standing. She started to forget completely all the happenings in the dressing room. It was time for her to make the happy march towards the wonderful man that was waiting for her at the other end. She began moving slowly, gracefully, never taking her eyes from the front. After a short hug, her dad led her as she linked arms with him; every step bringing her closer and closer to her soon to be husband.

There was a pleasant hum following her along the aisle as people made quiet remarks and strained to get a better look at her. All her friends and family wanted to participate in her sappy little love story as much as she did, and this thought made her smile all the more. As they walked, her dad’s arm shifted just slightly, but enough for her to feel stickiness where her arm had brushed against her dress, causing her smile to slip from her face. She shot a glance towards her dad to see if he was registering the sticky feeling as well, but his eyes were forward, his face unchanged. How could he not notice that something wasn’t right? Maybe this was just a trick of the mind from before. She looked down, her face registering horror as she discovered she was once again covered in spider webs. No one else in the room seemed to notice any change had taken place. She felt of her dress again, pulling up a mass of web that was sticking between her fingers. She searched the faces of those she saw closest to her, but she seemed to be the only one who noticed what was in her hand. Frantic clawing ensued as she screamed for help. Everyone stood staring wide eyed as she continued clawing at her dress and screaming for someone to get the spider web off her. As she struggled, the webbing began to become binding. “Help! Help! It’s getting tighter. Get this off me!” All around her were concerned faces, but no one moved.

As she continued to fight, unaided, she realized that no one seemed to notice what was going on. “They all think I’m crazy. Why can’t they see the web surrounding me? Why does everyone just keep staring?” It felt like she had been clawing and screaming for a while, and still no one came to help. Everyone just continued to watch, dumbfounded. “I can’t do this. Everything is wrong.” She couldn’t be just imagining this; the feeling of the web sticking to her hands was too real to be an imagination. Why wouldn’t anyone help? The faces around her, that had seemed so bright earlier, began to take on a sinister quality. One man next to her began to laugh at the fear registered on her face. She looked up to her dad for comfort. His face, so full of light and happiness just minutes before, now had a dark ugly shadow. His mouth looked like a gaping hole.

She looked up to see a carving of an angel smiling next to her, staring. She had loved this statue when she had first seen it in the church. It had seemed to add to the pleasant atmosphere. She hoped somehow to gain some calm as she looked on the angel now. As she continued to watch the statue however, the mouth began to look more like it was laughing. Was it mocking her? She had to get away; away from this church and these people and the horror of what was happening. She shouldn’t be here like this. “Everything is wrong.” Hands began to reach out to her, trying to calm her as everyone became increasingly worried. Her best friend, her mom, her dad, the groom, they all circled around her asking her if she was okay with a pleading look in their eyes. She twirled around trying to tell them what was going on, but found where the eyes had been pleading moments before, they were now filled with malice. Hands reached out to smooth her hair, her dress. The dress was now covered in the webbing, growing tighter and tighter as the minutes rolled by. No one in the crowd seemed to notice it though. She kept trying to tear it away, but the more she tore at it, the more it engulfed her.

The spider web was growing, coming up over her neck, up towards her face. She was going to suffocate in a web as everyone stood by and watched. That was if it didn’t squeeze the life out of her before then. She tried to catch her breath, but the web circled tighter around her. She tried to move away from the hands, but her legs were wrapped in this horrifying mass. She tripped over it as she tried to move away, landing on her back, unable to get back up. Someone was whispering near her ear that everything would be okay. “It’s a lie.” How could this be okay? More hands moved in, trying to calm her. Hands were caressing the web, seemingly unknowing or uncaring. She tried to move away but people were holding her down from all around. Tears flowed from her eyes freely as she realized no one was going to help her. As she fought to catch her breath, she looked up into the eyes of her groom. A devilish smiled played out in the corners of his mouth. He seemed to see all that was going on, and instead of concern his face displayed enjoyment. It was almost as if he had planned this and was getting a thrill from watching her. He began to laugh, that same menacing laugh she had heard near her before.  As a new fear spread over her, he nodded. He wanted to watch her die. He no longer looked like himself. His eyes grew darker as she struggled; his laugh took on an eerie quality. He seemed almost inhuman. She quickly looked away from him, hoping somehow that by turning away it would all end; hoping she could get the picture of her groom looking like a monster out of her head. The hands supposedly meant to calm were now threatening. Hands surrounded her from everywhere, holding her down as someone else began squeezing her neck. The eerie, menacing laugh filled her ears as she continued to struggle. She tried to scream, but nothing came out. The hands around her neck grew tighter as did the web, which was now coming up over her mouth. She felt the force of the hands holding her down, and the breath coming in more and more shallow gasps. Every breath brought more pain and tightened the grip of the web and the hands.  The laughter grew louder, angrier. More voices joined in the awful chorus. Her mouth began to fill with the awful stringy texture of the spider web as she continued to try to gasp for air. She struggled to move, to get to her feet; her last thought as she continued to struggle “They’re trying to kill me. Run!”

The Standards of the World

28 Jul

Be forewarned- ranting is involved here. I rant because I am tired of non-believers rebuking Christians. Or, more to the point, I am tired of Christians allowing non-believers to rebuke them. Indulge me, and let me start out with a personal story. A while back I found that someone was publicly complaining about coming to an activity I had invited them to. They had apparently not had a good time; in fact it was bad enough they felt the need to openly complain. When I came across their complaint, I told them next time I would not invite them. Who am I to make them feel obligated when they don’t want to be there, right? Here’s where the rebuke came in. This person, who is not a Christian, came back with the reply that I was not behaving like a Christian to say that. Let’s put aside the fact that I don’t believe my response was un-Christian, and instead focus on the fact that a person who doesn’t even like God is telling me how I should act to please God; Seriously?

This is a very small example of something that can be seen on a regular basis and on a wider scale. How many Christians out there have ever heard a non-believer quote “Judge not lest you be judged”? I’m betting if not all of you, then most of you have had this thrown in your face at some point. This is a scripture that is wildly taken out of context and misused. After all, if you behave like a duck and speak like a duck, how am I judging you by calling you a duck?

But you will be accused of judging everywhere you turn. If you speak out against abortion, your ears will ring with “Judge not lest you be judged.” If you dis-fellowship someone who is adamant about turning away from God, you will hear a chorus of non-believers calling you judgmental. Sometimes you don’t have to do any more than say you are a Christian, or God forbid a conservative, and the judge not band will begin playing their one hit wonder with gusto.

And Christians everywhere let them hold that song at the top of the charts daily. We don’t stop to think that we are allowing people who either don’t believe in God or who hold hatred for God in their hearts set our standards for how we obey God. We let it go that we are being held to a different standard than they hold for themselves. Instead, many times, we shut down and go out of our way to meet their standards. In doing this, we have stopped proclaiming Jesus to the world. We won’t go out and teach people the error of their ways. We don’t try to urge others to Christ because we don’t want to be judgmental.

Rather than letting God set our standard for a Christian life, we let the world set our standard. We have let the lies of Satan tell us that to recognize unrighteous behavior is to judge someone else. We have begun to believe Satan when he tells us that we have no right to point out what the Bible has to say when speaking to someone in sin. How will we ever be able to bring others to Christ if we can’t tell them certain behaviors are against God’s will? Remember that the words “Judge not lest you be judged” were spoken to Jesus’ disciples. He goes on to tell them to take care of their own sins before rebuking their brother. The point here was not that you should not speak to each other about sin, but that you should not rebuke another person when you are deep in your own follies. Also remember that these words do not mean we should let behaviors slide. When we see a fellow Christian floundering we have the responsibility to help them.

The scriptures give us instance after instance of Christians rebuking other Christians with the scripture. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work- 2 Timothy 3:16-17. We also have examples of Christians using scripture to point out the behavior that damns the world to bring un-believers to Christ. Look at the Day of Pentecost for an example. Let’s quit letting the world set our standard, which amounts to letting Satan set our standards. Let us instead go to God to set our standards.

HMJ- Still on Summer Vacation

27 Jul

  • In my life this week…

This week has been pretty low key. We went to the water park on Monday, and my husband took Danger Girl out to the farm he used to live on. Other than that we did some organization around the house. We are still trying to get the house completely set up since our move a couple months ago. It is amazing how long unpacking can take.

  • In our homeschool this week…

We didn’t really do much this week since my husband was on vacation. Our official start date is not until August 13 anyway, so I’m not stressing too much about it. I guess the farm visit could be considered nature study. We also worked on memory verses. Danger Girl got a chance to impress daddy with the verses she has memorized.

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

As I am learning right now, it is helpful to take an inventory of what you do have around the house. I have a ton of resources I have downloaded, and rather than buying more stuff I plan on using these resources next year.

  • I am inspired by…

Our preacher recently sent a note of encouragement to me regarding our homeschooling. I came across it again, and that has inspired me. I realize that even though we don’t really have others in our community to connect with that are homeschooling (at least not that I’ve found yet), we do have some who are encouraging us and praying for us.

  • My favorite thing this week was…

I enjoyed getting to spend time with my husband this week. He works a lot so we can do what we are doing. It was nice to have him around, and also nice to see him spend time with Danger Girl.

I know it is supposed to be one favorite thing, but I have to add another one. My husband likes to make fun of me for occasionally listening to what he calls “angry white woman music”. He gets endless joy from teasing me about this. So, it was fun for me when I recently caught him choosing a few of the AWW songs to listen to himself. In case you’re curious, his AWW picks were “Trigger Happy Jack” by Poe; “I Love Myself Today” by Bif Naked; and “Romeo and Juliet” by Indigo Girls.

  • What’s working/not working for us…

The amount of money I was spending was not working for us, especially with as much free and frugal resources as there are available. I have begun to re-evaluate what we are doing and learning that I don’t have to use big name products to teach my child.

  • Things I’m working on…

I actually have a couple of projects in the works right now.

I am working on my book, which I am committed to finishing by the end of the year. It is a psychological thriller with a Christian twist (you’ll just have to wait to see what that means).

I am also working on trying to get an American Heritage Girls troop started in our congregation. We will have to see how that works out.

  • I’m reading…

I am currently reading “The Coming Revolution” by Dr. Richard G. Lee. A review will be coming soon.

For my personal devotion time I am reading “How to Pray” by Elmer Towns. I am also starting a devotion with a friend of mine and we will be reading from “The Total Woman” by Marabel Morgan.

I also am continuing to read “School Education” from the Charlotte Mason series. As you can see I am a little ADD with my book reading :).

  • I’m cooking…

Salt & Pepper Wings. This is a favorite of my husbands.

  • I’m grateful for…

Outside grills and crockpots. Cooking on the stove in the summer is just not fun.

I am also thankful for the rain we received. I love rain!

  • I’m praying for…

I sometimes have a hard time forgiving others. This is a problem for many reasons, one being that I am not being a good role-model for my daughter when I have an unforgiving spirit. I am also praying for guidance on determining when I am being unforgiving or just protective of my child.

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Since I just publicized my husband’s new guilty pleasure songs, I thought I would share the songs. If you’ve never heard them maybe I will make new fans out of some people. 😉

(Poe’s Trigger Happy Jack)

(Bif Naked’s I Love Myself Today)

(Indigo Girl’s Romeo and Juliet)

And since I’m in the sharing groove, I’m adding two of my all-time favorite songs.
They have nothing to do with the post, but I love both songs so why not share,
right?

(Poison’s Every Rose Has It’s Thorn)

(The Cult’s Painted on My Heart)

 

I hope everyone else has had a great week! What have you been up to?

It’s Okay to Have an Opinion, as Long as it’s the Right One

26 Jul

I have seen several articles recently about Chik-fil-a. People I know are posting about how awful they are on Facebook. I have heard the president called a bigot (that’s the nicest name I’ve heard) in several instances. Why? Because he openly stated the company supports the biblical family unit.

This is a Christian owned company (hello they’re closed on Sundays, wasn’t that a clue), so is it really surprising that as a corporation they would hold Christian values? It is not like they are banning homosexuals from entering their establishment. All he said was that they are supportive of the biblical family unit. He also stated concern about our nation openly defying God’s definition of marriage. They are not discriminating against a certain group. Anyone is welcome to eat there as well as work there. If you don’t want to, fine, but they don’t have to quit being a Christian company because you don’t like their policies.

Chik-fil-a is a privately owned company with every right to operate as a Christian company. Don’t get me wrong, I actually do believe that people are entitled to their beliefs and opinions. If you do not agree with the corporate policy, then by all means boycott the company. Don’t eat there, don’t work there, that’s fine. You have every right to take these steps, and good for you for standing up for your beliefs, whether I agree with them or not. But how is it productive to throw foul language and insulting names at someone because they don’t believe the same way you do?

By the way, the word bigot means “a person with strong views who will not listen to the opinion of others”; just throwing that out there.

I actually agree with the underlying reasoning behind the president’s stance. They are a family owned company, an openly Christian run company. Mr. Cathy did not come out and issue a threat or a statement against homosexuals. His comment was a statement for family; that was it. If you really look at what he said, he is not taking a personal stance in the debate about same-sex marriage. His personal stance is for family, as God has instituted the family to be. I know, I know saying this now makes me a bigot, right? That’s okay; I can add it to the list.

This is just one example of an opinion being the wrong opinion. Did you know that I am an uneducated, back country white trash good for nothing (this on top of being a bigot for defending Dan Cathy)? According to feminist groups that about sums me up since I am not a feminist, I am a conservative, and I stick to certain Christian values (you know which issues I really mean). I may have a high enough GPA to get me into an honors group in college, but don’t let that fool you. I am just as stupid as can be. Oh, let’s not forget the fact that I am a stay-at-home-mom. That just dropped my intelligence even lower.

Being a conservative also apparently means I am dangerous. That’s right; believing in the founding documents, bad. Being a Christian just adds to that danger factor. I may pray for someone, it would be a travesty. Yes, I know, that’s a ridiculous comment, but seriously; the Bible teaches peace, yet my belief in this book makes me dangerous in the eyes of certain groups.

It boils down to I have the wrong opinions and belief system. My belief in the importance of God and family makes my opinion worthless in the eyes of many. I have no problem with someone disagreeing with my beliefs; just stop trying to shove your beliefs on me. If I disagree, accept it as willingly as I accept the fact that you disagree with me. Quit trying to force those who disagree with you to accept your position through policies and laws, or through name calling and foul language. You do not have more right to your opinion than I do to mine, accept that.

My Favorite Danger Girl “isms”

25 Jul

On any given day, my child will say and do some crazy things (this is why I plan to write a book about it). These are some of my favorite quotes from the mouth of Danger Girl.

1) I will have my revenge on you!

(this is said any time she is asked told to do something she doesn’t want to do.

2) I give up!

(said anytime she is trying to describe one of her adventures, or new games, or ideas, and you just aren’t grasping the concept)

3) It is not every day you see a camel in his underwear.

(I don’t even know. She just started saying it)

4) I’m not the one who [insert bizarre comment here] ex. I’m not the one who’s wearing a tomato.

(this is pulled out on certain occasions when she isn’t winning an argument)

5) me- “What are you doing?”

DG- “writing books.”

me- “what kind og books?”

DG- “the kind you read.”

(gotta love the sarcasm in that girl)

6) I’m going to move to the backyard, and when you go to bed, I will sneak in and get food.

(at least she had a plan)

7) It is my life, my dream, my destiny!

(said when she is describing something he really wants to do or have)

8) If I find a house for $1 can I buy it and live by myself?

(keep dreaming kid)

9) The love of fairies continues

(this is a misquote of something she heard. The originial quote was “the love affair continues”)

10) I’m not a munchkin, I’m a goober.

(If you’re going to call her something you better get it right)

 

Of course I could also tell you about some of her big plans (maybe for another post). I think this gives you some idea of what life with Danger Girl can be like. Couple some of these sayings with finding a child bungi jumping off a top bunk, and you have Danger Girl; able to find disaster at any turn!

My Role In Life

24 Jul

I am a Christian, a mother, a wife, a teacher, a homemaker and a writer. These are my roles in my household and this is the order these roles should be performed. I say this because it is very easy to get these roles mixed up.

I often find myself trying to put my role as a writer or homemaker above all else, and when I do, I have to re-prioritize my life once again. Why is this the order my roles should take? To answer that I need to break my list down just a little.

1) Christian-

If I do not put my role as a Christian above all else, I will not be able to perform my other roles as I should. Doing this means going to God in prayer before I make decisions, or for help in strengthening my relationships. I need to spend time in scripture as well, so I can pass this knowledge on to my daughter. I should be teaching others about Christ or ministering to the needs of others so I can be an example to my daughter.

2) Mother & wife-

I put these two together because neither of these two roles is more important than the other one. I listed mother first only because I spend the majority of my day with my daughter. Being a good mother means that I provide for my child’s needs (not wants but needs). It also means being a good role-model for my daughter. She should be able to mimick my actions and know they will lead her down a fruitful path.

Being a good wife means I should make my home pleasant so my husband enjoys coming home. It means listening to my husband and accepting his decisions. It also means discussing decisions with him. Probably the hardest part of being a good wife for me though is allowing my husband time to be a good father. Because I spend my day with my child and get little time to spend with my husband, I sometimes want to monopolize his time. I have to remind myself that my husband and daughter need time to spend together just as much as I need time to spend with them.

These two are second because my relationship with my family comes before having a perfect home. They also come before homemaker because taking care of these relationships will help me be more invested in making a pleasant atmosphere for those I love.

3) Teacher-

Teacher goes with being a good mother, but in some ways I believe it is also separate. Being a teacher means encouraging a desire to learn in my child, but being a teacher can also be outside my home. This goes along with being a Christian as well because I should be teaching those I meet about Christ. Because teaching has multiple connections it deserves its own place. Teaching does not come before my other duties though. This role intermingles with all other ones.

4) Homemaker-

Being a homemaker, while I may sometimes try to make it more important than it is, is not the most important role I have. I need to make sure my house maintains order, and I need to make sure my home is pleasant to my family, but this is not my main focus. If it comes down to doing the second load of dishes or playing a game with my daughter, my daughter wins out. As long as I have a safe house and it is clean enough, I can let other priorities take precedence.

5) Writer-

This role comes last because it is a self-imposed role. Writing is something I choose to do. Yes I want to make a living with my writing, but this does not come before my duty to God and my family. I will make time almost every day to do some writing, but only after I have fulfilled other obligations.

 

I realize my priorities do not sound exciting. I don’t make adventure and excitement my top priorities, but I promise you there are plenty of adventures and excitement in our house daily. You want excitement, try convincing a seven year old to clean her room. You want adventure, play with same seven year old after reading to her. You will never need to leave your house again. 🙂

As unexciting as my life may sound, I know that it will be blessed if I maintain the order God has set my roles up in.

Why Christians Should be More Like Homosexuals

21 Jul

Before you get angry about the title, hear me out. I want you to think of someone you know who is homosexual (I’m pretty sure most people know at least one person). Keep this person in mind as I explain why I think Christians would benefit from a lesson from the homosexual population.

Do you have your person in your mind? I want you to think back to the first time you met them. How long were you acquainted with this person before you knew they were homosexual? For most people, the answer is not long. Either in their actions or in their words, a homosexual person will usually let you know they identify with this group pretty early on. This is part of their identity and they are usually willing to share it. Notice I say usually. I know there are exceptions, but for the most part homosexuals are not ashamed to be. As Christians our identity is wrapped up in Christ, or is supposed to be. For proof, see I Corinthians 12: 12-14; Colossians 1: 21-23 and Colossians 3: 17. How often do we keep this part of ourselves hidden though? Many Christians will keep Christ to themselves when making new acquaintances for fear we might offend. Many of us are only willing to proclaim Christ while we are safely around other Christians. We might mention we are Christians in passing, hoping no one will question us further, but we don’t proudly display our identity like homosexuals do.

We should be willing to let all who meet us know, in word and deed that we are Christians. We should be so proud of our identity in the body of Christ that to not inform all whom we come in contact with of our status as Christian seems absurd. We should readily participate in PDC (public displays of Christianity) as easily as others participate in PDA. I don’t mean sound a gong each time you pray, but why be ashamed to pray at all? Why should you be ashamed to praise God for His blessings in mixed company? Why not bring your Bible with you to read in public as readily as you would any other book? Instead of hiding our Christian identity we should willingly embrace all that being a member of the Church involves (including the jeers you may receive).

Another way we should be more like homosexuals is in our desire to convert. Why is the homosexual population growing? It is because they actively take their message to the public. They share what they consider are the benefits of their lifestyle with people they meet. Most homosexuals are not ashamed of their beliefs, yet Christians will often sit timidly in a pew hoping that someone from the outside world will stumble upon the Church. We sit back and wait for someone to approach us rather than share our message with the world. We are so afraid of offending someone, so afraid of rejection that we let that possible risk outweigh the benefit of bringing a new soul to Christ. Instead of sitting back quiet and unobtrusive, we should get out there and take the chance to fulfill our calling. The book of Acts is filled with examples of Christians unashamedly teaching others the gospel of Christ. We should take that example. We should be just as forthcoming about the benefits of a Christian life as homosexuals are about the benefits of their lifestyle.

Just as homosexuals will band together against possible injustices to themselves, Christians should stick together. When we bring someone into the Church, we should not just abandon them to their own way. Instead we should continue to encourage them. We should be there for them when the world tries to tear them away from the Christian life. We should be there to remind them why they are a Christian. In the homosexual population the belief is if you have ever had an experience you are homosexual. Yet Christians will watch people fall away sometimes without a word. We should encourage each other to stick to the faith. If Christians were as vocal and involved in the Christian lifestyle as homosexuals are in their own, we would be stronger. Yes, we would probably endure more persecution than we do now, but Paul tells us to count all persecution for Christ as a blessing. Why not take the chance of persecution for such a worthy cause?

Homeschool Journal- The Week Before Vacation

20 Jul

In my life this week…

This week has been interesting. We went to a city council meeting to support some friends concerned about a noise ordinance issue. You can read a little about this in the second part of my post Let’s Change the Subject Shall We?. I have also been working more diligently on my writing, including some articles for my blog.

In our homeschool this week…

We are still on a break right now, though we have been reading from “Story of the World Volume 1” by Susan Wise Bauer. Danger Girl has also been reading on her own, and we have done work with measurements in the kitchen. Danger Girl has also been doing plenty of drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting (with play-dough) and illustrating stories.

I am inspired by…

God has been redirecting my homeschool path lately as I have been going to Him in prayer instead of just doing.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

My husband will be on vacation next week, so we plan to take Danger Girl to the water park. We will also have some friends from karate over this weekend as well as brunch with members of our congregation.

My favorite thing this week was…

A friend of mine came back to town after being gone for a month. I am glad she’s back!

Questions/ Thoughts I have…

My biggest question right now is how to motivate my child to do her chores. I have tried posting them on the refrigerator, I have taken away privileges, but I still have to remind her on a regular basis. What do other parents do to motivate their children?

Things I’m working on…

I am actively working on my book. I set a goal to be finished by the end of the year so I can start working on some of my other book ideas.

I’m reading…

Danger Girl and I just finished “Little Men” by Louisa May Alcott this week, so we will have to find a new book. As far as my own reading, I just started reading “How to Pray” by Elmer Towns, and I am continuing “School Education” from the Charlotte Mason series.

Picture to Share…

Overnight Success- Good Read

19 Jul

I just finished reading 279 Days to Overnight Success, a PDF booklet offered free from Chris Guillebeau. This is a follow up to a manifesto he wrote “A Brief Guide to World Domination” which can also be found on his site. The Overnight Success booklet is about how he made a success out of his blog in less than a year.

I like that he does not spend his time trying to sell you something. There are mentions of items he has for sale, but only as an example of how he began to monetize his blog. If you are serious about increasing your blog’s influence, this is an informative report of how it can be done.

I look forward to putting some of his ideas in play on my own blog to try out his method.

This book is well worth your $0 to read 🙂

 

If you are interested in buckling down on your blogging, I would also recommend signing up for Jeff Goins 12 week Intentional Blogging course.

I hope these resources can prove to be as useful to you as I have so far found them to be. Good luck.

Let’s Change the Subject Shall We?

19 Jul

I am always amused when people try to change the subject when they disagree with you. Sometimes people have ADD tendencies when it comes to a disagreement. They try to divert your attention and take you off topic as a way to try to persuade you. I have had some particularly amusing instances, one several years ago and one just recently.

Several years ago, I was sitting around chatting with some friends, when some of the group landed on the topic of true love. One girl in my group of friends liked one of our guy friends, and was trying to convince him that everyone has one true love. I guess she figured if she could convince him of this then she would have an easier time convincing him that they were each others true love? As they debated this, and drew everyone else into the conversation, her best friend turned to me for my opinion. She was trying to help her friend in her endeavor and evidently expected me to comply with the one true love theory. I messed up the plan though because I stated my belief that people can love more than once in a lifetime.

This could have been a pleasant discussion about our differing beliefs, but instead became a break in friendship. I allowed this to happen because I allowed her to change the subject. Somehow she changed the subject from true love over to Brittney Spear’s responsibility to her fans (I’m still not sure how that one happened). We disagreed here because I felt parents were more responsible than Ms. Spears. My second disagreement angered this one girl so much, that rather than continuing the discussion she began a personal attack on me.

Somewhere in the midst of all this we had gone from true love to me supposedly having been taken care of all my life and not having to worry about taking care of myself. Unfortunately, I took the bait once again. She had a more stable childhood than I ever had, so rather than either dropping the subject or bringing us back on topic, I followed her tangent and explained this fact. My explanation resulted in her flinging the insult that I was a waste of breath and life, and thus ending the friendship.

I now know my mistake was letting her divert my attention to something else, but perhaps we shouldn’t have been friends anyway so I can’t be too upset about the break. Knowing the art of diversion better now, I have learned to not let it work on me anymore (usually). This leads to my more recent run in with differing opinions.

There is a debate going on in our community right now regarding noise ordinances. A business opened up in our downtown area, which is a mixed zone area, and has been disturbing their neighbors with loud music late at night. An ordinance was suggested by the Chief of Police for a fairly reasonable noise level which would be acceptable to the residents in that area, but the new business is trying, with the help of some on the planning and zoning committee, to have the level raised to a level that is disturbing to people trying to live in that area.

In my opinion, this is an ordinance that affects our whole community because there are several areas that are mixed zones. I posted on Facebook about my concern. An acquaintance, who likes the new business and for that reason disagrees with me, responded. The problem is not that she disagrees, but that her response had nothing to do with what I said. Her response was that rather than worrying about this we should be worried about people who are missing in our area. The City Council, while being able to deal with the noise ordinance, doesn’t really have a part in missing persons, so the argument was nothing more than smoke in the mirrors. As I said though, I have learned my lesson about diversions, so I responded thus, “You are welcome to your two cents as much as I am. I don’t know who is missing, and while I hope whoever it may be is found, I don’t think all other city business should shut down because of that. My concern is how the situation affects our town as a whole, not just downtown. Being concerned does not take away from my compassion for anyone who may have a missing loved one.”

I have received no response from this person, and you know why? I did not let her divert the conversation. The secret here is that people who try to change the subject usually do so because they don’t really have any reasoning to back up their argument. If they change the subject on you they can convince themselves they got the upper hand, and when you let them do so, they’re right.