Life Lessons from Joseph

Life Lessons from Joseph

Hey everyone,

 

One of my most favorite Bible stories of all time is about Joseph. When I was in high school in eleventh grade, I was in the chorus for our high school’s spring musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Not only were the lyrics catchy, but they were right on. They clearly told the story of how Joseph gradually arose to become second-in-command to Pharaoh. He’d encountered many a trial and challenge. His older brothers had sold him as a slave and then lied to their father about it; then, when he found a master he enjoyed working for, he was wrongly accused of having an affair with the master’s wife; he was thrown in prison where he would remain there for two full years before Pharaoh would have mysterious dreams that needed to be interpreted. Once they were interpreted by Joseph, Pharaoh made him second-in-command.

 

Much like Paul from the New Testament, do you ever witness Joseph complaining about his circumstances? Not ever. Imagine the hurt and betrayal he felt about his brothers, his own flesh and blood, selling him to the Ishmaelites for money. They’d wanted to get rid of him because he’d been their father’s favorite son. Imagine the shock and desperation he’d felt when he’d been wrongly accused of having an affair with his master’s wife. Imagine the hurt he’d felt for being thrown in prison and staying there for two years, even though the chief jailer had made him in charge of all the other prisoners.

 

People can look at this situation two different ways. One group of people may look at how Joseph kept on having problems and God wasn’t good to him. But the other people may see how God WAS good to Joseph. He took care of him always. He made sure he had a good master, where he’d become leader of the household. Then, the chief jailer had entrusted in him to be the person who overlooked all the other prisoners. He was a leader in these two situations, which gave him experience in being a leader over Egypt one day. What a high priority! Pharaoh saw something in Joseph that nobody else did: the means to build his kingdom and make Egypt prosper. And all that just for Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams!

 

Lately, all I’ve wanted so badly is for my dreams to come true. That’s all I want. But every day, they keep getting farther and farther away and it’s hard to keep the faith. Hard, but not impossible, though. Just like Joseph never gave up, I refuse to give up as well. I think that God gave us such Bible examples like the Joseph story to remind us to never give up. Keep trying and doing your best, and God will do the rest!

 

Have a good weekend, everyone. 🙂

JMK~

 

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Setting Long-Term Goals

Hello everyone,

 

I apologize for not having written in a while–been a very busy lady! Part of this busyness has been thinking of Paul from the Bible. Over the past month, I read through the whole book of Acts and pondered his immense courage. As the apostle John relays the sometimes chilling details about the problems and obstacles that prevented Paul from preaching the Gospel, such as imprisonment, being shipwrecked, and confronting an angry crowd – to name a few, I admire him even more. Not once do you hear of Paul complaining about his circumstances or how he wished for more chances to spread the Gospel. Not once do you hear Paul fearing for his life. He seems like an easygoing guy who just takes conflict and runs with it. The courage he had was amazing, and that’s the kind of example I hope to set in my life as well.

 

My husband is my biggest support system and encouragement with me and my writing. I couldn’t do anything without him. He was the one who suggested that besides doing freelance writing/authoring, I look for opportunities around our hometown where I could get my foot in the door. Then, that foot in that door could lead to a career down the road that will have given me, overall, healthy experience. Who knows where it could lead, but I’m hoping that it’ll eventually lead me to a full-time opportunity. Therefore, on the sideline, you will see another milestone goal I put up. I plan to look for opportunities every day, Monday-Friday (since I use the weekends for spending time with my husband and family), and do it up to a year. Hopefully and God willing, I will be blessed in what I do and the determination I use.

 

Over the past month, I have also been busy with finishing writing and completely revising my romantic suspense novel, “Hush, Don’t Tell.” You can find more information about it HERE. My next goal for that is to submit query letters to 50 agents, and then 5 small publishing presses afterward if necessary.

 

Then, finally, THIS MONTH you can be able to pre-order my YA fantasy novel, “The Magic Suitcase”! I will let you all know the moment you can start to pre-order it, and also when you can look for it on Netgalla so you can start reviewing it!

 

Exciting things happening in 2016 so far! I am excited and looking forward to following God’s footsteps in wherever he may lead me beginning today, and you should, too. Go to God in prayer, and study the Bible on what it means to obey the Gospel. Paul encountered many obstacles along the way, so many that you would think he would give up instead of pressing on.

 

Philippians 3: 12-16: Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

 

Have a good week, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~

 

 

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Home Is Where the Heart Is

March 10, 2016

Hello everyone,

 

Last night on my drive home from work, I was flipping through the radio channels, and found a classic: “Rhinestone Cowboy” sung by Glen Campbell. What a legend. I turned up the volume right away. My sisters and I grew up to this music. My dad often sang it at home, and he and my mom enjoyed the man’s music. We knew every lyric.

 

But it was perfect timing. It was a song I needed to hear desperately, and I hadn’t known it until that moment. It reminded me of home, but more than that, it reminded me on what truly mattered. Lately, I’d been ridiculed, harassed, and criticized by online strangers who know nothing about me as a writer, so easily doubt my writing and editing abilities without getting to know me, and never give me a chance. They’re the kind who don’t want to have an open mind, who don’t want to hear me out.

 

When I was in college, such legendary songs on the radio gave me comfort, reminded me of my roots. I come from a big family, and am a down to earth Christian country girl and proud of it. I was raised on a sheep ranch. My sisters and I brought sheep, chickens, and rabbits to the county fair and won. We cleaned after them, loved them, cared for them, and sometimes got annoyed with them. But these animals were the heart and soul of the farm. We literally delivered lamb babies, mourned with the ewes when they lost a baby, and cared for them like they were our children. Such roots has caused me to be a strong willed person and find God’s blessed mercy and love through it all.

 

I adore having social media followers. The immense support means everything to me. But comments I receive must be the kind you’d receive from a friend. Remember the golden rule: treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If that’s not the case, your comment will be deleted and sent to spam. Nobody needs to be a victim of those type of remarks that aren’t encouraging and that doesn’t build another up.

 

Earlier in this blog post, I mentioned that Glen Campbell’s song reminded me of what truly mattered. What truly matters is having a husband, friends and family, even social media followers, who do believe in you no matter what, who never doubt your potential. That’s the kind of support I plan to carry with me till my dying day, because negativity will never prosper in the end, and we will all have to give an account to God one day.

 

JMK 🙂

Chase Your Dreams

Hello everyone,

Your dreams design who you are as a human being. They define the type of person you will become in the future. You dreams become who you are as you strive to conquer them. Doing so makes you a better person.

Have you ever heard of stories of people discovering their dreams or finding their lifelong calling at a certain point in their life and making news? Do you ever really look at their faces? Their smiles aren’t just friendly smiles for the photographer – they’re the happiest smiles you will ever see, broadened grins with beaming eyes filled with excitement, happiness, and relief. Their mountains have been conquered and their dreams have come true. Everything they had worked so hard for and for so long has happened for them, and everything in life is perfect bliss for them now, because having conquered their dreams, everything will be okay.

I’ve had a lot of expectations in life – too many expectations, at times. Sometimes I expect too much. Sometimes I expect too little. Have you ever had those times in life where just really stinks and you don’t know how you can go on? Have you wondered if God really cares about what you’re going through? Do you ever worry that you’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel? I do, and I’m here to tell you my biggest thorn in my side.

Remember in the Bible when Paul was pleading with God that He would take away the thorn in his side, but the Lord responded: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

My greatest weakness and thorn in my side is: fear. Every day I start my day with prayer and Bible study, but that doesn’t mean that sometimes throughout the day, I forget the Lord and quite frankly, think negative thoughts. I forget that Satan challenges us in those moments and makes us want to forget the Lord. Over and over again we fail as Christians, and over and over the Lord wins the battle, because we MUST cling as tightly to God as we can. When we fail, God will bless us with the grace to succeed, giving us a way out of temptation and out of our weaknesses, so that we may boast upon our weaknesses, find the light at the end of the tunnel, and find the way out.

Friends, there is always a way out. I’m writing this blog to you, not to confirm what you probably already know about living the Christian life – but to remind you what’s really important in life. Don’t give up. Chase your dreams, and remember the amazing plan God has for you, no matter what. As for me, I’ve found my real calling from the Lord, and my biggest fear is losing it forever.

But I will not lose it. Because like I said: chase your dream, don’t give up hope, and always remember Who has got your back: God.

Have a good week, everyone.

JMK~

Worry Less, Pray More!

Hey, everyone,

 

I didn’t know what to write for a blog topic this week, which is why it’s taken me several days longer to actually write this. So I apologize for that, haha.

 

Today I want to discuss something that is very much a part of my life, but I wish it wasn’t. Worry. You know why suicides occur in the world? You know why anxiety feels sometimes uncontrollable? You know why anger management happens so often in the workplace?

 

Well, it’s because of stress. Stress and anxiety aren’t positive topics for a reason. They feel like they attack and control you just by saying them out loud! Let me tell you how unhappy God feels when His creation is worried over something in which you have no control. Fearful? Be courageous; do something spontaneous. I deal with anxiety on a daily basis, but instead of listening to music, eating a million pieces of chocolate in a single day, or sulking in front of the television, use one of my suggestions.

 

I start my day this way: I wake up to my alarm. Fix my cats breakfast, because if I don’t they’ll break down the door and thus wake up my sleeping husband, LOL. I then walk like a zombie back to the bathroom to get ready. After getting ready, I tiptoe out of the bedroom to fix myself some breakfast, catch up on some housecleaning, read the Bible, watch Youtube videos, and catch up on my daily Garfield comic. I get my breakfast, consisting of coffee and also cereal or oatmeal, and sat at the couch and take care of that with my cat Lefty on my lap. I leave for work in my car listening to my favorite oldies radio station’s headline news. Then, I shut off my radio as soon as music starts playing.

 

Obviously not because I love music – I LOVE music!

 

But because it is a distraction to something far more important: giving all my concerns for the day to God. I pray hard and fervently while I drive, and then do the same at the end of the day.

 

Prayer lessens worry, everyone. I can’t promise praying will make your worries go completely away forever. I can’t promise life will always be sunshine and flowers. But if you give your life to God and pray to him constantly, remembering him as soon as a grievance turns up throughout the day, then you will be happier in the long run. Praying gives you comfort and strength for whatever lies ahead. Praying is the solid hope we must have and do have in the Lord to keep on going and that wherever God leads us, the destination will be just as amazing as his Bible promises.

 

Hope everyone has a safe, fun, and happy weekend!

 

JMK~

Memorable Summer Activities

Hi everyone,

This past weekend, I enjoyed going to two county fairs. Now if you’ve never been to a county fair before, you’re seriously missing out! If you have but it a type of city-slicker fair with all sidewalks and hardly any grass, you’re also missing out!

Growing up, my sisters and I were in 4-H. We brought everything fun into the fair, after working on it all summer long, and this included baking the best treats (made usually the day before), sewing projects, drawing or painting, writing a binder full of typed poetry (and later winning a reserve champion ribbon on it), and finally, taking sheep, chickens, and rabbits to the fair.

From 1998 – 2009, basically 11 years, I spent at this Minnesotan, small-town county fair. I learned so much about sheep, chickens, rabbits, and myself. I developed friendships along the way, including with animals. We worked our very hardest every summer to make sure that the right feed was provided to the lambs to make their muscles stand out for the judges, and training our rabbits to get use to it, and so forth. Looking back, this was some of the best times of my life growing up. I’m so thankful to my parents for raising us on a farm where we could be such a wonderful part of all that stuff.

I never was a big fan of sports – as in, playing sports. Watching sports – football, basketball, baseball, NASCAR (my fave), etc., is fine, but I never enjoyed it or got into growing up. The most exercise I received in the summer besides bike riding growing up was, essentially, cleaning the barn! J Then, when I wasn’t helping my mom with a summer activity around the farm, I was gardening, reading a tall stack of novels, writing my beginner books (of course), and hanging out with family. When reading or writing, I was listening to my favorite late 90s and early 2000s pop music, ha – Hanson, Britney Spears, ‘NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Billy Gilman, and Alan Jackson. Yep.

Obviously that was a long time ago, LOL. But essentially, I learned a lot along the way. At age sixteen, instead of working and getting my drivers license, I was working on the farm full-time during the summer and didn’t want a job while in school to prevent distractions. I was one smart cookie, but I was shy and quiet all through high school – that’s a different story, though.

Nowadays, I’m knitting, writing (obviously), reading books still, listening to music, spending time with family, and spending time with my husband too. So not much has changed if you think about it.

When I was at my parents’ local county fair, my mom mentioned to me that she overheard a boy complaining to his mother about the 80-degree heat to his mom, and his mom took pity on him and said, “Oh, do you want to go somewhere air-conditioned?”

Folks, I’m sorry – but COME ON. Yes, air conditioning is fine and I still use it to this day, but don’t obsess over it. Why do you think God created heat in summer? For our enjoyment. It’s only when we relax from labor do we enjoy air-conditioning circumstances, or a fan. But we shouldn’t whine if we don’t receive it. Enjoy the moment.

Especially when you’re at a fair! Fairs are designed for fun, despite being in sometimes nasty summer heat and exhaustion. Drink lots of water, dress cool, wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Then you’re fine. Really. You’ll be fine. Take my word for it – farms and ranches aren’t designed for heat, either. It’s all for fun, and when you love something and enjoy doing it, you get used to it and also end up not paying the summer weather any mind. Summer isn’t all about staying indoors. It’s all about enjoying it and being grateful. You’ll be a lot happier in the end.

Have a great week!
JMK~

My Favorite Things

May 13, 2015

Hello, folks,

This week sounds like a perfect week to go about examining one’s favorite things and how they help you through life’s struggles. So below are some of my favorite things.

What are your favorite things? How do they give you comfort in life when life just seems really hard?

**My Favorite Things:

  • God  – Every morning lately I have spent 1-2 hours thoroughly reading and studying God’s Word through Bible app reading plans, devotion, and prayer. This gives me comfort at the start of the day, reminding me that God is with me, has amazing plans for me, and that trusting and being confident in Him will bless me.
  • Family – There’s no better support system I have than my husband and family. They are my constant encouragement and true love, helping me realize what’s really important in life. My husband has a great sense of humor, too, as well as the rest of my family. Humor mixed with love is probably the best way to help a loved one overcome a trial!
  • Cats – My cats, Lefty and Felix, are really entertaining. They also keep us on our toes, but get into everything! My black cat, Felix, as you’ve probably seen in my recent Youtube video here, is the most prone to getting into mischief! No matter where we hide his cat food, he has a highly alert, keen sense of smell and does anything he can – destroying the carpet, opening doors as strongly as he can – etc., just so he can get what he wants. No matter what I go through in a day, their entertainment keeps me reminded that there are enjoyable aspects of life to constantly strive for and look forward to.
  • Knitting – There’s just something comforting about the tip-tap of the knitting needles softly clinking together, along with the soft, tender feel of that brand new ball of yarn, that comforts you and gives you peace. It’s a feeling only needle-workers can understand. Any needle-workers out there? 🙂
  • Baking – My husband loves it when I bake stuff. He does most of the cooking around the home since I don’t really enjoy cooking at all. I even groan about making a simple pot of mac and cheese! His favorite thing that I make is my Oreo Pie Dessert, which you can see on my page Discover More! Putting all the recipes together, measuring cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons of ingredients, is fun to me. Plus having a big sweet tooth is a plus, too. 😉
  • Playing Piano – Yes, it’s true, I have played piano for 16 years. I have a piano keyboard in our office corner, but as all avid pianists know, nothing beats sitting down at a real piano. My heart melts at seeing a brand new, black and shiny piano, sitting there just waiting for someone to play it! I love all the classic composers, such as Pachebel, Mozart, Beethoven, Handel, etc. I’ve played almost every Beethoven piece, and have played at least one song from each of these composers. Classical music is my favorite to play, but I also enjoy jazzy tunes. Playing a simple song makes you forget about your troubles and focus on the soft comfort of music that sings all your troubles away. Any musical followers out there? 🙂
  • Reading a Book – I’m not a fan of Kindles, etc. It’s fine if someone else uses them. But for me, I love the crisp, soft feeling of the book in my hand. You can stroke your hand across the texture of the book cover, feeling the crispness of the pages, and know how real the book is. If it it was up to me, I’d have an entire library of books. My favorites are anything from Jane Austen and Kate Morton. But aside from the Bible, my all-time favorite book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The book just really speaks to me. I don’t know if it is because I’m a writer or because I have three younger sisters. Reading a book with a telling story just sends you into another world where nothing else matters except the fun adventure you’re about to experience!
  • Gardening – Since we live in an apartment, there’s really not much of a garden you can have. We tried growing a tomato plant in a pot, but it didn’t work out so well. More so than vegetable plants, however, are using the beauty of flowers, even if it is just a dozen-some pots lined up on your balcony. I enjoy learning more about plans and flowers in how to make them better and better. Just another comfort of home.
  • Humor –  My favorite comedians of all time are Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan. Not only are they relatively clean humorists, they make you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine to anything, no matter what kind of sick you’re feeling.

What are your favorite things? 

Have a good week, everyone. 🙂 Don’t forget to enjoy life to the fullest! 🙂

JMK~ 🙂