Let’s Just Stop Debating, Shall We?

6 April 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

I’ve never been good at debates. I’ve never really seen the point of them. I try not to watch / read the news a lot, because there’s just way too much negativity – like I mentioned in last month’s post. I would much prefer focusing on things that really grab my attention – as they should grab everyone else’s attention in the world – serving the Lord, enjoying married life with my husband, and cherishing the life moments I get to spend with him, my cats, family, and close true friends, as well as enjoying working in my secular job.

 

When I’m going about my life, I’m not thinking about what the governmental law says about guns, violence, how to lead a just government. Blah. Blah. Blah. I’m not thinking about stuff like that on a daily basis. Sure, I care about such things, but that doesn’t mean I go about my life ratting on people social media pages complaining about how wrong they are, and all the reasons why they’re wrong. If we are to debate, we must do it in a way that is in pleasing to God – NOT what is pleasing to our own selves alone. In all generality, our forefathers began this country with only One Person in mind – God. And that is exactly who our thoughts should be focused on.

 

When you see a news article on TV or in the newspaper that is about violence, laws, etc., we must think in our minds – what would God think about this? And is there anything I can do that would please God? I don’t like to get into debates, because there are too many people out in the world whose focus is clearly not on what God thinks and commands but on their own selves. Such people are close-minded and far too stubborn to even try to persuade things otherwise, if you really wanted to. They don’t mind making threats on the Internet, telling how others are stupid or that something is wrong with them if they believe a certain way that is probably much more pleasing to God than the evil they may fixing up in their minds. Such dirty minds are not pleasing to God, because it clearly says so in His Word. And if we are to go by anything that is pleasing to God, we must first read the Bible – His Word – to understand His exact commands about certain subjects. For example, we should never wish that someone was dead – that is not nice nor would it ever be pleasing to God. Or, we shouldn’t backlash people behind their backs or on social media. For one thing, God sees all and knows all, no matter how you may try to hide something from Him. And if you believe He doesn’t exist – well, I double dog dare you to say that to His face when you will meet Him on Judgment Day.

 

I’m not trying to be blunt here or to even create a debate. I’m simply giving out a bit of a lecture here. Because I am sick and tired of hearing stories of people acting out in evil against God, treating others with evil intentions, others wishing evil upon another, and so forth. The Bible commands such things as leave peaceably with all men and turn the other cheek. Such statements are not mere suggestions – but stark commands, from God Himself given to men inspired by God to write about. Whenever we see someone doing that against another person, we need to rebuke them. And we need to make sure that we don’t follow in their footsteps.

 

So when you’re out there in social media, at work, at home, at church – wherever you are – and you disagree with a subject that someone has – no matter what it is – make sure that what you believe with all your heart, mind, and soul is 100% in tune with God and His Word. If we don’t, we are just asking for trouble one day in Judgment Day. Read the Bible yourself. Study it, and really ponder the words that are written there. They are not just written there for people of the past, but people of the present as well as the future. It doesn’t matter what century it is, the Bible will forever remain the same. It is a cherished, treasured Book that should make you really think about how you’re living your life and if everything that you believe and how you act and think is in tune with God’s Word. Because God knows every heart, and He is God, your Creator, everyone’s Creator. He created you the way you are – an artist, writer, doctor, musician, etc.. And He loves you the way you are – but He so badly needs & wants you to believe every word that is written in His Word. His commands are what He’s going to judge you against one day, when the world will end – and it WILL end.

 

Yikes, that’s a lot of harsh news, right? Well, guess what, bad and ugly news that we hear and see every day is not as harsh as that. It’s just not. Folks, we need to start living for God, not just sometimes or whenever we feel like it, but every time. Every day. Every moment of every day. And we need to keep working our hardest to do so on a constant basis, because if we do exactly what His Word says and if we try our hardest with all our heart, mind, and soul to make sure that our lives are completely in tune with His Word – it is only then that we will have success – true success – in our lives.

 

So let’s stop the debating, shall we? If we all believed God’s commands and trusted in His Will and Word, there would be a lot less debates. There would be a lot less violence, hurt, anger, and misery. But then, God never destined for us to live in a perfect world – but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t still want one. So try to live in a way that is pleasing to God, trusting in Him, reading the Bible, and obeying every one of His stark commands written there. Everything that’s written in there IS a command, and if we only take it lightly, then may God help us on Judgment Day.

 

My dear wonderful readers, know very much that everything I’m saying is not to hurt you, offend you, or anger you. It is simply to help you realize how important it is to act in a way that is pleasing to God. If you wish to debate about a subject, make sure it’s in a way that’s pleasing to God – and you do that by praying hard and reading the Bible heartily first before even beginning a debate. Postpone the debate if possible. All of these subjects that our government brings up IS important – but whether you are to agree or disagree with the changes that are made or not made is up to you. But just remember, if we are unkind to others, evil in any way, or start debating a subject that God may disapprove of, then how are we really living for God? How are we really living lives pleasing to God? How are we really going to make a difference in the world? When it’s all said and done, how much damage will be done? In the end, are we going to choose evil? Or are going to choose good? Choose wisely, according to God’s Word. That’s all I ask. Amen and amen.

 

JMK~

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What Made Me a Writer~

3 April 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

Once upon a time, I was twelve years old on a bright summer’s day. I wasn’t your average twelve year old, though. I had one friend who had just moved away that summer. I didn’t consider myself as very outgoing, and in fact, I was a very quiet and shy girl. Not unlike the average teenager then and even today, I tried to avoid household and for me, barn chores wherever possible. To normal outgoing teenagers who spent a lot of time at lakes, going swimming, or with hanging out with friends as often as possible, I didn’t prefer any of those options. Instead, I was perfectly content with reading. At that time in my life, I remember reading constantly – novels, magazine articles that piqued my interest, even obituaries. I was starving for knowledge and reading as much as possible was the only solution. When I wasn’t reading, I found random hobbies around the house, such as playing piano, recording songs on a cassette tape of myself singing (embarrasingly enough), and listening to my favorite CDs. Needless to say, if you can’t tell already, I was BORED. Bored, bored, bored. Most of the time, I became so bored that I willingly cleaned and helped my parents out with chores just to avoid the state of boredom. I’d go on walks with the family dog at the time, Pepper, and try to find ways to entertain myself. During the school year, homework obviously filled the bulk of my evenings. But despite that, my imagination was constantly flowing with ideas and the constant urge to do something wonderful and exciting with my time. Something I could use to pass the time and distract myself from how lonely I was, how unexciting I believed my life was, and how starved for attention I was. I needed to constantly do something useful and exciting.

 

I started reading Sweet Valley High books on the school bus to school and back home. I read and read and read. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sweet Valley High books, because they were filled with endless drama, intrigue, and suspense, not to mention romance. My mom had either a bunch of the little novels on the office bookshelves, and one day, after complete intrigue, I decided to read them.

Sweet-Valley-High-Books

Those books, I am happy to say, changed my life. These are the books that inspired me enough to be a writer. That summer day that I finished the last of the books in the series was the day I started to become a writer.

 

When I was at college, I complained to my class advisor that I simply could not get into the Mass Communications degree that I had taken up. I thought for sure that was the degree associated with writing. I kept telling her that I wasn’t enjoying the classes, I wasn’t doing well in them, and I didn’t want to learn any more about news reporting. I was even terrible at the photography classes. I was completely upset. But my minor was in English, and I have no idea why I chose that as my minor. I was completely blind to the fact that the minor I had taken up needed to become my major. When I mentioned to my professor, aka advisor that I really had enjoyed the Creative Writing class I had taken up, she asked me why that was. Gradually, I realized that I had taken on a completely different major than I should have from the very beginning – but as a degree in English (which I am quite proud of by the way), I chose it more so for the freelance writing aspect of it. I didn’t want anyone to tell me what to write or how to write it. I didn’t want anyone to constantly judge my writing – except when it came to literary agents and publishers. I wanted to be a freelance writer & author while retaining a secular job at working in an office, and that’s exactly what I did. So let me back up……

 

On that summer day, I finished that last Sweet Valley High book, and then thought to myself, I wish I could write a book. Well, friends, that’s what started it all. I started writing novels in notebooks at first before eventually converting to a computer and saving my stories on floppy disks! (Remember those?) And the very first book I started was called, “Life with Guarding Angels,” which is now called, “The Dead Sister”. It is essentially revolved around a love triangle that causes the guy of the love triangle to end up in prison for eight years.

 

Being a writer has taught me so many things. In 2014, I got accepted at a publishing company that later ripped me off two years later – so then, I learned the secret to doing much more thorough research of sending material to such companies. Send to literary agents instead. Through both college and personal experience, I’ve received countless letters from fellow authors, have learned how to have a website and how to maintain it, and the pros and cons that follow the world of writing. But I would never give up on it for the world. I love my writing talent that God has so richly blessed me with and I would never trade it for anything in the world.

 

This blog post today should inspire all of you to remain vigilant to your own passions, hobbies, and desires, not to mention your dreams. DO NOT EVER GIVE UP ON ANY ONE OF THEM EVER!!! God has blessed you with such things, and HE is the one who should daily be praised and thanked for such wonderful things in your life 🙂 My friends, I have loved my writing journey, and I plan to continue it the rest of my life, no matter where it leads me and no matter what setbacks come up along the way. 🙂

 

What will you do with your talents & dreams? Never give them up. Never.

 

I hope everyone had a happy and fun Easter. God bless and take care.

 

JMK~

There’s a Lack of Beauty in the Worl

2 March 2018

Hello everyone,

I love a good book as much as the next person. My favorite are suspense novels, a genre I also write, where the story incorporates drama, romance, life lessons, and everything else in between. Kate Morton books are the best; with every twist and turn, you expect the book to end one way, when it actually ends a different way. I have a short pile of suspense novels in my home bookshelf just waiting to be opened into, read, and enjoyed.

It’s the same thing with a person, isn’t it? Every person in the world has their own unique abilities, their own beautiful personalities. Only God can see who is good and bad, true to His Word or ignoring it completely. But He also sees all the disrespect in the world; the anger, hatred, and rebellion. All that terrible sadness – don’t you think that makes God sad? This world that He created torn apart like this?

More and more these days, I see nothing but negative headlines in the news today. For some odd reason, people find it funny or at least interesting to have disrespect toward things or people that they shouldn’t have disrespect to. Whether it’s players in the NFL, the NFL in general, celebrities, executives, governing leaders, musicians – you name it, the disrespect is there. Even more so, the HATRED is there. There’s too much impatience in the world today, too much rebellion, too much ignorance of God and His Word. But this isn’t just about God and His Word – it’s also another matter, a subject that many of us ignore because we don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. People are gonna do what they’re gonna do – that’s the way we think.

But we shouldn’t think that way. Instead, we should reach out to others and help out as many as possible. We should set a good example toward others. You know, a smile in a stranger’s direction goes a long way. It could even make their day – or, even better, be the best experience they had all week. Give food to the homeless. Set an example to your children, nieces, and nephews that all of the world is not all ugly. Parts of it is, but we can’t make it all good. All we can do is do our part – and the best part of that is by living the way Jesus wanted all of us to live. Obey the Gospel. Have a faithful & regular prayer & Bible study life. Make solid time for God & His Word. Then, go out and spread the Gospel to others. Something as simple as giving a spare Bible away is planting the seed.

I look at the news today and see that there is so much ugliness, especially in the media. People are wrongly accusing others of wrongdoing. People are not being kind to others. There is too much anger, frustration, and hatred. Too many people protesting for stuff that is really not going to matter at the end of the world. What IS going to matter, when we all stand before God on Judgment Day, is whether or not we lived according to His Word. Whether or not we obeyed the Gospel, gave respect to others, never talked badly about others, always held your tongue, and tried your hardest to set a good example to others and helping others out. The best example I have is whenever you see somebody in the supermarket, in a coffee shop, on a sidewalk – maybe an elderly person fell down. Maybe accidentally spilled their coffee all over the floor. Maybe somebody was carrying a stack of books and one bump and they all fell to the floor? Instead of watching that person, watch how many people ignore them and continue on with their lives as if that person clearly didn’t matter? Perhaps they didn’t NEED help, but just think about the kind of wonderful day you’d give them if you stepped out of line to get your coffee, to go to your job, etc. just to help that person? And you know what? It’ll make your day, too.

I think I’ve told this story before, but I remember when I was in college, I was on my way to class. I passed by a hallway just in time to notice a woman, who’d been pulling a wagon filled with books and supplies and other things for the department in which she worked. Suddenly, the wagon toppled over, and dozens of pens, pencils, notepads, and books toppled out.

And of all the crowd of students heading toward the doors leading outside in which I was headed, I was the ONLY ONE who stopped. The only one!!! I was absolutely appalled. For a moment, I stopped walking to observe the lady who clearly could’ve picked all that stuff up herself, but think of the embarrassment she probably felt, making a mess while everyone glanced her way on their way out the door. Think of the stress she probably felt, because she’d piled those supplies in her wagon just right. And I was the only one who stopped and hurried over and instantly began helping her put her stuff back in her wagon.

“Thank you so much!” she exclaimed in a relieved smile, a big bright smile on her face. “I really appreciate your help!”

“No problem at all!” I insisted, and cast her a smile of my own.

And for the rest of the day, and still to this day, seven years later, I still think about how relieved and happy she was for me to help for only a couple minutes. To help her, when everyone else had decided not to.

Don’t be so in tune with your own lives that you forget about helping others, about looking after others who aren’t just your loved ones, they are strangers. They’re children. They’re people in need or even people who aren’t in need but could use a helping hand – just to make their day! J How wonderful that’ll feel.

Come on, world, let’s stop being so disrespectful and angry. Let’s stop the hate and all the rebellion. Let’s listen to our parents, who always know the best thing for us, and let’s help others. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt. Let’s work on our road rage.

Don’t get me wrong – nobody’s perfect. But if we all worked a little harder to make someone else’s day and being more respectful and kinder – wouldn’t the world be that much more beautiful?

Think about it.

Enjoy March 🙂

JMK~

What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

It was a calm and sunny, spring day. A family drove their silver Jeep Cherokee down the interstate. The husband and driver, Bob, reached over and tenderly placed a hand over his wife’s slightly swollen belly as she smiled lovingly over at him. As he concentrated back on the road, the wife glanced backward at their two-year old daughter in the back seat, babbling away as she played with the stuffed animal she held between her delicate chubby fingers.

Bob turned a corner, prepared to bring his family to their destination for the weekend. But suddenly, out of nowhere, a drunk pickup truck driver lost control of his F-150, instantly killing all four passengers of the silver Jeep…

A half hour later, as the ambulance, firefighters, and policeman gather around the broken vehicle, they discover the dead members of the delicate family, so once full of life and happiness and love.

2 February 2018

Hello everyone,

Over New Year’s weekend, I attended a relative’s funeral, someone I had known and cared about. Doing so, I witnessed a part of the funeral preparations, and the one aspect of it that really stuck with me the most was the obituary part of it. The funeral home had sent a single sheet of paper for the family to fill out – which included the basic information of the now deceased relative such as birth date, birth place, children, grandchildren, etc. And then, at the very bottom, it had given 2-3 blank lines to fill out for the person’s hobbies, interests, and a bit of info on their life. 2-3 lines.

2-3 LINES????!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

Sometimes, when my husband and I are sitting in church together, or even when we’re in the living room sitting together with the cats where I’m catching up on writing and he’s playing video games – I look over and really look at him. I mean, really look at him. I’m planning on spending on the rest of my life with him, grow old with him, one day raise kids with him – all that. But what if God has other plans? What if my life, or, I should say our life, is as fleeting and short as the children and couple of the true life story above? When my uncle Jerome was 23, he must have assumed that he was going to live a long life – but no, he was lost in the waters of Costa Rica. When my sister Kayla was two, my amazing parents probably thought that she was going to one day to grow up to be a beautiful young woman who would one day get married and have children. But no, instead she didn’t even reach age three before our good Lord took her to be with Him.

When you see an obituary, you don’t see a long life. You see a brief bio about that person’s life – anywhere from three to five paragraphs long. Life is but a fleeting shadow, and it must be cherished. You might know somebody and think, Oh, she was such a sweet person. But what kind of unique sweetness did that person have? What was it about them that made them sweet? He had the craziest sense of humor. Well, everybody does, really. What was it about this person’s sense of humor that made it special? Are you seeing what I mean? A family sees the meaning and the wonderful relative’s life within an obituary, but a stranger only sees a life. I like the kind of obituaries that are a newspaper’s page long that really depict at least a bigger taste of that person’s life. But still, it’s just a taste. Therefore, what kind of legacy are we trying to leave behind in the now?

Doesn’t it scare you that your life could end out of the blue and we won’t be ready? And it scares me also that, even though I know where I’m gonna go in my eternity, the legacy I leave behind to strangers is unknown. Why should we care, you ask? Because we are loving and living our life right now, the only one God has given us, and people deserve to know how we lived our lives and what made it more unique and special than anyone else’s life.

That’s when it’s important to do two things to make yourself ready just in case it happens tomorrow: plan your funeral; and make yourself right with God.

Planning your funeral may sound morbid, but if you really think about how short life can be, especially since tomorrow is never guaranteed, then doing so is a good plan. What if your family planned something you wouldn’t have wanted? Granted, you’re not around by then, but wouldn’t you want it planned your way instead of a way they think you would’ve wanted? Perhaps you may even be disappointed if you knew what they were planning. In fact, my late uncle Jerome planned his funeral before he went on his mission trip, and his family actually used it for his actual funeral.

Secondly, making your life right with God is most important. Read Acts 2:38. Baptism is essential for salvation. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sins in true repentance toward God. Confess to the ones surrounding you prior to being baptized that Jesus is the Lord of your life. Immerse yourself in the water, and be cleansed into a new creature, buried into Christ and wash your sins away. This simple rule from the Bible brings you into eternal life. Then, attend church regularly and try your hardest to live a life pleasing to God. Trusting in God after that will bring such peace and joy to your life, in a way the world will never provide.

Finally, make sure that you leave behind a life that your relatives will be talking about for years. Where it won’t be a simple burial of your body and moving on. Leave behind a life that brings happiness and love to others. At my funeral, I want people to come up to the front and talk about good times that were spent with me, and funny things that I’ve done or said. Best of all, it’ll be a celebration of life, because I’m finally with the Lord and my sister Kayla, and that makes the whole life journey all the more worthwhile.

Take care, everyone and I hope you all will at least think of my advice 🙂 You never know, it could change your life for the better. Comment if you have questions 🙂 have a good February!

JMK~

A Soldier’s Unforgettable Journey

5 January 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season spent with family and friends. WOW, I cannot believe it’s 2018 already!! What a year this is going to bring, and I cannot wait to see what God has planned for my husband and I this year! 🙂

 

So, as some of you may know, I am currently writing a WWII book about a soldier. His name is Peter, and today / this month, I plan to tell you all about him and this amazing story I will be writing & editing for the majority of this brand new year! May God be praised that He has given us another year – God willing – to live upon this Earth.

 

Well anyways, let me continue my explanation of this story, although of course I’m not going to give anything away. Peter enters WWII where he is thrust into action and drama that he’d much rather not partake in. He begins his story as a soldier living in fear – fear of dying and never seeing his cancer-sick mother again. She has leukemia, and he’d love nothing more than to be home with her, even though he’d already made a vow to serve his country. Peter is a fearful soldier, and after being thrust into an ugly, brutal, and bloody battle, his ranking officer, Glen, sees something shining out of him that might be worth fighting for within the cold, wintry wonderland of France at this time. Soon, Peter discovers that war, perhaps, shouldn’t have been for him, because he is constantly afraid of dying. Even more so, he’s terrified of never seeing his mother again.

 

Now before I go any further, let me just explain that this is a fictional story – obviously. Anything can happen in life, or even in war, so I don’t want to read any “oh, come on, that’s unrealistic,” or anything like that. Please, just use your imagination.

 

So, continuing on, Peter and his unit are ordered to travel through several different French towns to help civilians – protect them, provide food and shelter, and take care of any remaining wounded soldiers around the premises. But once they reach a certain French town, Glen has this crazy idea that perhaps, since they’re so far from home and so far from their commanding officers, perhaps it’s time to teach the French civilians a lesson for allowing the war to occur in the first place, even though this war is a part of several different countries total. Since he is their captain, he decidedly orders that they all partake of slaughtering the entire small town, and if anyone disagreed with him, there would be major consequences. But Peter, despite his anxiety about the war and being there in general, remembers that being a Christian also means that he had to do the right thing.

 

Glen had grown fond of Peter. But after Peter’s ultimate refusal to partake in this evil activity, his entire unit betrays him and leaves him for dead. But he doesn’t die, and the journey he undertakes gives him the strength, wisdom, and the guidance to make better and smarter and braver decisions in the future. This story is also gradually being researched by his future granddaughter, Janie Berg, whose grandfather is slowly wasting away from dementia in the nursing home. Researching her grandfather’s past may give her the understanding she’s always wanted to know about him and his past, as well as discovering clues to better understanding her future.

 

Since this book is currently in the beginning stages, any ideas you may have for WWII are welcomed. Regardless, I hope to finish this book by next summer, God willing, and begin the editing process then.

 

Let me leave with a final note: I know that most of you writers out there, if not all, are presently trying to partake in sending query letters to agents and publishers. What is my advice? No matter how many rejections you may get, even if you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty in trying your very hardest to write the best query letter you can, don’t fret or worry. God has a beautiful plan for your life. Not only that, but don’t ever give up on your writing and on your passions in life, no matter how hard it may seem. When the agent rejections pile up and you feel at your wit’s end, don’t give up. Keep trying and trying and trying, and, first and foremost, don’t ever stop writing.

 

God bless you all! 🙂

 

JMK~

The Ultimate Anxiety Cure

5 December 2017

 

Hello everyone,

 

If you’ve read my blog at any point or another, you recognize that I am a Christian, a woman of faith. I know that many of you out there don’t believe the same thing I do, but my hope and prayer is that though my words within either my blog or within my own novels, I may be successful in convincing at least one of you to at least give God a chance.

 

Anxiety is a depressing word, isn’t it? But we have a pretty amazing God. He is our ultimate Source for everything we need in this life, as well as want. We can trust Him with everything and anything. And sure, we can pray and pray and pray about it. But are we really praying about it? Are we really giving God not only full control, but complete trust that He will take care of whatever anxiety you have?

 

As a quiet person, anxiety happens for me at least every day, some days more than others. I can stress about anything and everything, especially situations that bring me out of my comfort zone or where I am forced to be confrontational. It is very difficult for me to be this outgoing sometimes. To most people in the world, whether you’re a Christian or not, it’s much easier to be outgoing and to approach uncomfortable situations. But for me, it can be very difficult.

 

I recently read a devotional on my iPhone’s Bible app that stated that when you pray and you still feel burdened about what you were praying about, you didn’t really pray to God about the problem. Instead, you just told Him about it. Praying about something – and really praying about it – is giving it all to God with complete confidence in Him that He will make everything turn out all right. We may not know yet on how the situation is going to turn out, but no matter what, God has our backs, and He always pulls through for us. God has a beautiful & unique plan for our lives, and as long as we keep attending church on a regular basis, studying His Word, praying regularly, and doing our best to be a shining example to others as He has instructed us in the Bible, then we really can’t go wrong. I’m not saying there’s not going to be ups and downs along the way, or even that the situation we’re faced with turn out perfectly. But, as I’ve read somewhere before, “God makes a way when there seems to be no way.” That’s something my life has gone by, and I’ve discovered that many a time in my life, that saying rings true.

 

This Christmas, perhaps you’ve just lost a loved one and are searching for answers, or at least comfort and peace in the midst of your struggle / trial. Maybe you don’t know how to afford Christmas presents for your kids this year, or maybe you are not looking forward to seeing a certain relative during the holidays. Maybe you have to work over the holidays, or even, maybe you’re alone this Christmas. No matter what you’re going through, pray about it. But not just pray about it, give God ultimate control & love & peace in your life. This is a hard lesson I’ve had to learn within these past couple of months. When you pray & surrender everything to God, but trust God that He’s really, really got this – then you will feel, within your chest and heart, ultimate peace. Peace that is so real you can feel it within your own body. Burdens are lifted from your chest. Your anxiety begins to disappear, and suddenly, the obstacle you’re about to face doesn’t look that bad after all. Because God is amazing and nothing is impossible with Him.

 

I hope you all have a safe, warm, and happy Christmas holiday season! And a Happy New Year! Blessing to you all, and thank you all for still putting up with me and continuing to read my blog posts. 🙂

 

JMK~ 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

3 November  2017

 

Hello everyone,

 

I was eleven years old when my mom thought it would be a neat idea if my younger sisters and I joined 4-H. So we joined the Silver Lake 4-H Club in our hometown, named after a lake in the area. I wasn’t too crazy about it at first, being shy and all, and I wasn’t up for joining “clubs.” But once we started, I learned to like it, love it, and then, years after graduating from high school, missing it.

 

When I was fourteen, my family and I attended an event that gave honors and awards to those at the Fargo, ND college, NDSU, for those who had made lives and careers that all began with 4-H, and who also had been greatly involved at NDSU. My late uncle, Jerome (remember him? Click here if you don’t), had been greatly involved in NDSU, which began from his deep love of 4-H. He’d loved it so much he’d made a career out of it, and that night, Jerome had received an award of his dedication. We all looked on, proud smiles and matching pink flowers pinned to our chests. My family and I took the award in his place and in his honor. The gentleman presenting the award had many great things to say about Jerome. I had proud tears in my eyes when the man mentioned that Jerome’s family was there, and everybody looked over at our table where we sat, applauded, and even gave us a standing ovation. Because Jerome had been that brilliant of a person.

 

Ever since that day, I worked even harder to present myself as a worthy participant in the nearby 4-H county fair. My sisters and I presented sheep, chickens, and rabbits as animals nearly all the years that we performed. It was a TON of work every year from 2001-2008. I cannot even fully express in depth how much work it truly was, particularly with the sheep. It was even extra work when you chose to take non-livestock items to the fair, which included food, sewing and construction projects, painting projects, and the like. In the  year 2003, I got a Reserve Champion award for my writing project novel that I put into the fair, which brought me to the state fair in the Twin Cities, MN. It was very much an exciting experience, although unfortunately, I received a red ribbon (compared to the best blue ribbon award) for my participation. My book deserved FAR better. But in 2004, I received a Grand Champion ribbon for the best wether lamb (which is a young ram) in the open class showing. Along the way, I became disappointed, unhappy to happy, excited, and proud. Along the way, I had a deep adoration for the animals I presented every year. It was especially the hardest and saddest when we had to sell our young rams every year. Working our hardest from when they were newborns to after the fair; it was a yearly struggle that was difficult for all of us.

 

The following are ten things that I learned about 4-H throughout the years:

  1. Remember that it’s not the awards that you receive, but what you learned from the experience and how it has affected you as a person.
  2. Animals are God’s creatures, and they have individual,  unique personalities all their own.
  3. Don’t let anybody just go around and tell you that your animal or your work of art that you placed into the fair is meaningless compared to theirs. Make sure to defend yourself, but do it in a way God will be proud of.
  4. Trust that God has a beautiful plan for your life, which far exceeds any awards you might receive.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, for everyone’s story is different and everyone’s way of learning is different.
  6. The amount of money the state takes away from 4-H’s funds that they receive in 4-H animal auctions is highly unfair. The 4-Her worked HARD for that animal. They deserve every penny of it.
  7. As my mom used to say, “there’s always next year.” Don’t give up. Keep trying to work hard and keep learning everything you can about 4-H and the 4-H projects you work on. You never know, it might turn into a career one day.
  8. Don’t get mad if someone got a higher award than you, for it will not get you anywhere in life, and such attitudes are filled with nothing but selfish desires.
  9. Don’t forget to smile as much as possible. If you’re all hot and sweaty from bathing that sheep lamb and you don’t want the judge to think that you hate 4-H, because you don’t, it’s really just the hot weather – just keep smiling!
  10. Keep going back to county fairs every year, no matter how old you are, and keep telling stories about the 4-Her you truly were.

 

Recently, I attended a county fair, and as I walked through the corridors of the non-livestock 4-H projects such as gardening, sewing, and painting, I kept smiling to myself. That had been me at one point in my life. A person who may have never been involved with 4-H can walk through such projects in the fair and think, “oh, that’s nice. That must have been a lot of hard work,” and will never TRULY realize the depth of that hard work like us 4-H admin do. I saw every stroke of the paintbrush, every piece of tightening thread, and watering of the flowers that day. I KNEW what it was like to work hard like that, because I lived it. And you know what? I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about putting their kid through a club or special activity. It’s free, and the amount of work that it amounts to will be SO worth it in the end. Trust me, it WILL be worth it.

 

 

Have a great week! 🙂

 

 

JMK~