"If anyone would come after me. He must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me, for whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Mathew 16:24-25

Sunday, May 3, 2015


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Steps to success

My writing and approach to writing has changed over the years. I used to approach writing the same way I did in life, compulsively. An idea would spark in my mind and I would hurriedly write it down before I forgot it. Either I would write a little more on it or I would leave it collecting dust on a word page forever. I rarely finished my writing. Why? Because I lacked the focus, motivation, and planning to complete it. As I've gotten older I have become more focused. If I enjoy something, it is a lot easier to focus on it. That is where motivation comes into play. The key is to find something of interest in things I have to do and remind myself why I do what I do during my free time. But focus and motivation become 100 times harder if I do not have a plan. If I make a detailed plan, breaking down my big ideas into little steps, then my fears begin to dissipate and my idea begins to look like something I can make a reality.

I have completed a few more little steps to my goal of becoming a novelist. I have done this by taking the advice of a few people.

1. I have set up a writing space based off of Rachelle Dekker's blog post description of her writing space.
2. Downloaded Scrivner, A powerful writing tool that can help with organization and research.
3. Downloaded evernote to help me continue to streamline and organize my life
4. Listened to Kevin Kaiser's webinar on how to achieve your goals and establish a core of dedicated fans.
5. read my notes from the Rewrite conference and follow up email advice/provoking questions/quizzes to help me with focus, motivation, and planning for my life and my writing.

In summary, in order to succeed in my writing (and life) I need to have focus, motivation, and a detailed plan. I hoped this helped you in your own life. What's your plan for your life? What gives you your motivation? How do you stay focused? Hit me in the comments below.

(I tried to attach pictures of my writing space but blogger was being resistive)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The discovery of my calling

       I'm a writer. I can't deny it any longer. Time to put the lies, doubts, and excuses away. I have purpose, I have meaning. I have found my calling, my passion. I have found my home. I know what God has called me to do.
      The beauty in that statement and the joy it fills me with sets my body quivering with excitement. I know the journey ahead is full of hardship and loneliness. But am I not already lonely? Did I not feel purposeless before. I prayed to God for him to show me the way, and he has done that in a clear way that I cannot deny. I am filled with gratefulness and awe at the mighty plan of God. He knows me, he has always known me. He set a path before me before I was formed in the womb. He called me to this. The events of my past, the suffering I have faced, all led me to this point of discovery and revelation.
      I'm a blue monkey in a brown monkey world. I don't care about the external. I care about the inside. I care about stories. I care about people. I care about love. I'm tired of hiding, of not being genuine, of not being myself. That is the old me. I don't care how weird and different I seem. Jesus was misunderstood. Jesus was mocked, beaten. Jesus was crucified and rejected. Yet he stood firm. He knew his purpose. He proclaimed the truth, he did not shy away from his destiny. He spoke truth to the doubts, the lies in his head told to him by the devil. And so shall I strive to do the rest of my days.
      I want to live with purpose, with intention. I want to leave something when I die of value. A legacy I can be proud of so that when I get to heaven God will look me in the eye and say, "well done, good and faithful servant." God gives us all talents. If we do not use these talents then we are being disobedient to him. I'm tired of feeling guilty for disobeying him. Time to face the truth, ask Aslan to scrape off my false self. It's time to embrace the true me in rebirth. Time to start anew washed clean by the blood of the lamb. No more scars and no more burden. I know I will forget. Life is a series of remembering and forgetting. I know I will go through the shadow of death. But God will be with me. Sometimes the world will seem so bad that there is no good in it, but the sun will come out and shine out the clearer.
      Thank you God that that day is now. Thank you for helping me to recognize it. Thank you for setting me free. Please help me to die to myself every day and follow you. May I walk daily in my purpose and follow your footsteps. Carry me when I no longer have the strength. Thank you for your unfailing grace and love. In your name I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Making the most of my time

           Time. I have wasted a lot of it over the years. I have never been an organized person. I decide to do things at the last minute or spur of the moment. I have at times exasperated my friends by asking if they want to do something at the last moment. Often I do not get things done that I need to because I am scared that I do not have enough time. Often times this is because I spend most of that time I could have gotten things done, fearing the work and procrastinating. Then at the last moment I panic and do the work shabbily.
           I have recently recognized this I have gone through school with this unhealthy pattern. Receive assignment, fear it and procrastinate. Do a shabby job and complete it at the last moment before it is due. I worked on negative emotions instead of positive. Often life seemed overwhelming and I passed up opportunities to hang out with my friends or do other positive things because I did not "have enough time." But I would spend most of that time on my phone.
           I graduated this December and have enjoyed a much needed breather. I have had a lot of time to think and reflect on my past. Yet I still wasted much of my time. At the end of the day, I would often realize that I had not accomplished anything constructive. I would stay up late, sometimes all night, and sleep till close to noon. I would feel sluggish when I woke up, and with a bad feeling when I went to sleep.
          Today is a new start, a productive start. I have made for my schedule and stuck to it. Thanks to a largely open schedule I am able to plan out most of my day on my own. This is probably the only time anywhere in the near future that I will have this opportunity and I am determined to make the best of it. I do not want to waste any more time being unproductive. My schedule looks like this:

8-9: meditation (10 min), shower, eat, read The Knowledge of the Holy
10-10:30: run on the treadmill while reading a fiction book. 10:30-11: take my dog on a walk.
11-11:30 - Ab workout 11:30-12: chores, get ready to leave
12-1: Chiropractor appointment, fix radio in car.
1-1:30: eat, read biography book. 1:30-2: apply to grad schools
2-2:30: Chores 2:30-3 Ankle therapy
3-3:30 open (used for nap) 3:30-4: chores
4-4:30: Write blog post 4:30-5: open
5-6: weightlifting workout
6-6:30: eat supper 6:30-7: apply to Grad Schools
7-8:30: church 8:30-9: open
9-10: Fiction writing
10-10:30: open 10:30-11 Pray
11-12: quiet time/reflection writing
12-8: sleep

I put this here to show you how much I have been able to accomplish. I haven't been this productive in a long time and it feels great! I put most things in a 30 minute time slot because I am ADD and I don't want to get bored or discouraged of following my schedule. I also include open time for flexibility and freedom to choose to do something outside of my schedule. I know it is very detailed and maybe looks tedious, but if I am not organized than I swing to very disorganized and unproductive. I encourage everyone to make schedules and be productive. With God, you have the power to take control of your life and maximize the use of your time! I hope to continue this schedule and write another post tomorrow.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I'm not a hipster (my sin is the same as everyone else's)

No matter how much I grow in maturity, eloquence, affluence, knowledge, wisdom, etc. my son never grows any less ugly and base. My sin is not any different than anyone else's. It is not better or worse than another person's sin. Our sin makes us all the same. We all need a savior, we are all looking for a cure.

I was born with a stubborn, rebellious streak. I have always wanted to be different, fought against the current, against the norm. I have always been deeply suspicious of what is popular and accepted. I find satisfaction in doing the opposite of the majority. This is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that I think about things and do not fall easily under peer pressure. The bad thing about this is a struggle to accept people's sin nature and a sense of pride. The truth is that I am no different than anyone else and any belief to the contrary is a deception from the devil. I have the same weaknesses, temptations, failings as anyone else. Maybe it looks a little different and manifests itself in a unique way. But my sin is not better than anyone else's. Why should I have pride in the way I sin? I am humbled to realize my shortcomings. As Paul says, "I am the least of these." I humbly ask forgiveness of anyone who I have acted or appeared prideful to. I do not want to be above anyone else. I want to be loving to all and for others to feel welcome around me. I want to help others and not judge them just as I do not want to be judged.