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~ 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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~

What it Means to be a Christian

What it Means to be a Christian

6 October 2017

 

Hello everyone,

 

I can’t believe it’s fall already! Wow how time flies when you’re having fun, living life and serving the Lord! Today, I have now been a Christian for 5 years. It seems just like yesterday when I was immersed under the waters, baptized, and renewed in newness of life. Being a Christian these past 5 years has been a difficult but fulfilling road. Growing up, my parents raised me in the strong routine of attending church on a regular basis, praying as often as possible, and constantly searching for God’s truth in your life as far as the plan He has for you. He has a unique and beautiful plan for each and every one of us, and gradually, as I grow older, at age 29 I’m learning more and more of what it means to not give up on God, to keep unwavering trust and faith in Him, and how important it is to always put God first in your life. I hope that these truths are as encouraging to you as they are every day to me.

 

Therefore, below are the top ten things that I’ve learned since first becoming a Christian.

  1. God is not only omnipresent, but he is 100% involved in my life. No matter what fears, worries, or stress-related happenings occur upon my day, God is always right there listening to me and answering my prayers even when I do not know His answers.
  2. When you submit full control of your life and particularly your future to God, amazing things happen. He blesses our lives immensely, and we gradually learn to have a stronger faith in Him.
  3. When you pray to God, the Holy Spirit intercedes for you on your behalf, so that your prayers to God’s ears always sound perfectly done. Those words you can’t completely express the way you’d like to, God already knows what you want and need and answers your prayers.
  4. God’s answers to prayers isn’t always no, but quite often is “not yet.” This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned while being a Christian. An even harder element is accepting that and moving on with your life even though every bone in your body is desperate to know the answer.
  5. God amazingly blesses us in our lives. I have an amazing husband, a wonderful job, an enjoyable passion for writing, and a loving family. God is good.
  6. Evangelism is hard, but worth it. The more heavily I become involved in my church, the more I understand this. it’s not just a success when somebody becomes a baptized Christian, but even telling people about Jesus is a success. Because it’s exactly what God wants for us to do.
  7. There are amazing people in the church who love you very much, who are like family, and who will always support you. They will never judge you, because everyone deals with their own imperfections and struggles in life. Everybody is a work in progress. All that is important is that you are constantly working on your imperfections, as opposed to accepting them about yourself. God wants us to constantly work to be better and happier people.
  8. There will be people who cross your path who become receptively cold to your Christian message. Even some of you out there might see my blog post and think to yourself, “what a load of garbage.” But if you preach the Word of God with love and honestly tell them so, particularly with what I am doing to you right now, to them it might be tough love, but it’s the only way to evangelize, the most important thing God wants us to do in our lives. If someone you love doesn’t understand that, let it go if they become angry and cold. But don’t give up. Keep showing yourself as a good example of how to live a Christian life, and keep working hard to do right in God’s eyes. In the end, it’ll be so incredibly worth it.
  9. It is soooo amazing to be married to a Christian spouse, someone to come home to every day who greets you with love and is always supportive to you. The inspiration he or she gives you will be the best; trust them in their wisdom. If you are going through a trial or struggle, just be upfront and honest with them about it. After praying about it first, of course.
  10. Becoming a baptized Christian is the best decision I ever made in my life. It is such a simple action. All you need to do is believe in Jesus’ words in the Bible by believing in Him, confessing and repenting your sins to God, and becoming immersed with water for the forgiveness of sins. The Greek word for “baptism” is “baptismo,” which translated means, “to submerge or immerse,” which means to plunge someone completely under water. This puts you into the death of Christ, and then taken out of water renewed in Christ with a brand new, beautiful life that begins free from sin and vowing to God that you are going to live your life for Him going forward until one day, you find yourself in eternal paradise. This is what the Bible says, and this is what being a Christian is all about.

 

I love being a Christian. It’s the most important thing in my life, and I have yet to regret it. There’s nothing more comforting than bringing your troubles to the Lord to handle and take care of. He already has your prayers answered. But He loves you serving Him every day. If any of you has questions on the things I mentioned above, please message me privately. But please, keep any ugly words you may think of to yourself. Life is too short for ugly words anyway.

 

And for those of you who are Christians, keep on keep’n on. Don’t give up, and remember, your hard work will be rewarded one day.

 

Have a good rest of your month, and Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

JMK~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Extra Piece of My Heart

1 September 2017

Hello everyone,

 

I pulled up into my parents’ countryside driveway. I parked on the grass next to my sister’s Jeep. My heart was in my throat. My stomach was weak. I gazed over, through the driver’s window, and gulped at the sight of the family dog standing by my car, panting, happily waiting for me. I smiled, and as I got out of my car, I tried to ignore the fact that Sailor was only walking on three legs. I forced the excitement into my voice as I pet him like crazy, buttering him up with sweet words of encouragement and love: “How’s my little Sailor boy? How are you doing? Are you happy to see me? Huh?” His long tail wagged, tongue lolling, chocolate brown eyes lit up with joy despite the pain he probably felt in his leg. That day would be his final day on this Earth, and he didn’t even know it…

 

Several days before, my mom had called my cell phone to give me unfortunate news. Sailor didn’t have a broken leg, but rather, he had bone cancer, and it had already spread throughout his body. There was nothing the vet could do. Two days before that, my mom had called me to tell me our family’s old Shih Tzu poodle dog, Holly, had died in her sleep. Two dogs in one week. I was crushed. Even more of a crush was wholeheartedly deciding that I was going to be there with Sailor, alongside my sister, as they put him down. It was THE hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Watching the light fade from his eyes gave me have an even more profound sense of devotion, love, and adoration to animals. The excitement and joy and love that he showed before that first shot made me feel guilty later for having to put him down. I do not regret being there, though, no matter how hard it was. He needed to see us and be comforted by our presence. He was only six years old.

 

Those deaths, ontop of other things, has made it an interesting summer. It has really made me appreciate God, though, and the time I got to share with my loved ones. Life is short, and we are never guaranteed tomorrow. Every moment is precious, and every person in your life is designed by God to be a special presence in your life. Be grateful for the small things, don’t get angry about things that won’t matter on your death bed, and always pray your very hardest. Live for God the way the Bible requires, not any way that people tell you to, and always work your hardest with those loved ones and those careers and hobbies that matter the most to you. Don’t take anything for granted, because tomorrow, it may not be there.

 

Tragedy can make the sanest person go mad, but only if we let it. If we have God on our side, draw comfort and strength from Him and never give up, only then will we succeed. Too often in this world we see suicide rates continuing to go up. Whenever I hear about that, I always think about how tragic that is, because life is precious, and nothing, no matter how bad it is, should ever lead you to that level. Those of you who are hurting today, rely on Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He will lead you through, but only if you believe in him and trust Him. Have faith that He will pull you through and will lead you through better tomorrows. He has a unique and wonderful plan for each and every one of our lives, and if we daily read & study His Word and learn from it, we will be comforted, we will succeed in our endeavors, and we will receive God’s wisdom & guidance to do and say the right things at all times. This is my daily prayer. My dogs’ deaths will always stay with me, but I look forward to the future, of loving others, especially our cats and future dogs and cats just as much or even more so as Holly & Sailor. I still miss them terribly. But I will never forget the memories we have. Most of all, I will never forget the comfort God gave me when the going was tough, all because I relied on Him.

 

Holly & Sailor, you will always & forever hold a special place in my heart.

 

Have a great week!! 🙂

 

JMK~

Words from a Wise Family Man~

Words from a Wise Family Man~

Hello everyone,

 

Sacrifice, hard work, and living life to the fullest has never come easily for me. As a teenager, I struggled with these things especially, mainly about who I am. I have always been a quiet person, but it wasn’t until I learned more about a late uncle of mine that I really began to understand the meaning of life and God’s purpose for us living in all of it.

 

He was 23 years old when he died, under the deep waters of Costa Rica. His name was Jerome, my mother’s younger brother and a great influence in my life. Everybody in my life, of course, has been a great influence, but the words he spoke to me in a speech of his that I found was what made me really admire who he was. To this day, I wish I would’ve met him, but he died several years before I was born.

 

One of his greatest passions in life was agriculture. He grew up on a farm, raised in the beauty of hard work, caring for animals, and learning the good and bad elements of every part of crop and farm life. He adored 4-H and FFA, so much so that he made it a career. While on a mission trip in Costa Rica with his 4-H mates, he’d had so many plans for how to influence as many countries as he could through agriculture and how to be better farmers. His next goal had been to explore Panama. But God had other plans.

 

While out swimming with one of his friends, his friend lost control of his swimming and drifted afar off into sea. Jerome leaped into the water to save him, and his friend safely made it to shore. However, Jerome did not, but instead drifted farther and farther away; ultimately, to his death.

 

I share this story not out of confusion or for you to feel sorry for me for an uncle I never knew that died. But by reading his final given 4-H speech, I discovered that I was more like him than I thought, and furthermore, I discovered the art of really knowing him through such a profound speech. Below are the main points given in his speech. They’re brief, but they signify not only how we should love each other, but how God loves us. This speech persuades us to be positive for our futures, but to also not expect a future, for God has an ultimate and beautiful plan far beyond all of our imaginings. I hope you enjoy this speech as a testament to him, and I hope you learn something wonderful and beautiful because of it.

 

**The most enjoyable journey is to meet someone halfway.
**You’ve got to love life, love things and love those around enough to show them. It’s a risk, but if you aren’t afraid of yourself, your life can really get better each day.
**If you start saying love and thinking about the things you love, your whole day will become a positive experience.
**Replace something negative with the positive like: “I may not hit the baseball, but I love the way you pitch” or “I hate getting up this early–but I love the sunrise and the singing birds.”
**Find something new each day to live. Don’t miss all those things that make life lovable and livable. Don’t miss life. Grab for it. Live each day and each moment. Some people live like there will always be a tomorrow, like they will never die. “Oh I can enjoy life tomorrow, right now I’ll just survive.” Love it now. There may never be a tomorrow. The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. Leo Buscaylia says, “I don’t see death as a villain. I have happily accepted death as a challenge.” I agree. It lets me know that I have to live.
**I see death as a positive force. It tells me I have a limited time. It plays no tricks. Death has been a possibility since the time I was born. It has never hidden itself…unless I hid it. Choose the present. That’s what really matters. Rid yourself of no and can’t and impossible. The world is full of negative. We are full of it. Say yes to life. Try yes and possible and hopeful. Embrace life.
**Are you foolish enough to imagine that you automatically deserve success in an field or activity? Then why do you believe you automatically deserve success in marriage and family relations unless you work at it? Look at the way you treat each other in your family. With silence. With screaming. You ignore their feelings. You hide your feelings. Or you try to. The boss yells at you. You go home and yell at your spouse. Your spouse yells at the kids. The kid kicks the dog that bites the cat that urinates on the rug. Where does it all start? Why is it that the people we love the most we support and reinforce the least?
**We too often criticize. We don’t give our family the benefit of the doubt. We expect the worse. Grandma used to say that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. So why concentrate on the vinegar?
**”My parents did this and that to me.” You know what your parents do for you. The best thing they know how to. Maybe the only thing they know how to. They give you what they know. God bless them. They may not be perfect. But then, no one teaches a person how to be a parent. You suddenly have a baby and there you are. The sad part and maybe the reason you are so disappointed is that you believed your parents were perfect. And they let you believe it!
**It’s your responsibility to become the most loving, wonderful person because that is what you will be giving to your children–to all you meet.
**Sidney J. Harris says on rearing children: Parents who expect or want their children to ‘appreciate’ what they have done for them usually find that the children feel resentful when they grow older.
**Telling people you love them means you have to get out of your way. You’ve got to take a risk and expose your feelings. “I’m too cool. I don’t need to tell you what I feel.” We need love, we tell people we love them, and we need to do it now. We can’t put it off. We don’t know how much time we have.
**Love life–reach for life and stretch your mind. Love yourself–don’t be afraid. Don’t stand in your way. Love those around you. Give them the best you there is, and then they can become the best.
**No earthly happiness would be possible without our gracious God. The thought of eternal happiness with Him makes our joy here almost meaningless in comparison–to make our earthly life meaningful he has some suggestions like this: Be an instrument of peace: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love…where there is injury, pardon..where there is doubt, faith…where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console…to be understood as to understand…to be loved as to love…for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
**Carry those thoughts–console, understand, love and give–have a wonderful life!!****

 

Have a good week, everyone! 🙂

 

JMK~

The Importance of Querying Only Literary Agents

March 3, 2017

Hello everyone,

Writing, like other hobbies, is an art that takes time, practice, devotion, love and, perhaps, even an education to perfect. There are millions of writers all over the world, thousands upon thousands of books. You can read a book in print, or by your Kindle or Nook. You can read it online. You can do all sorts of writing-related activities, similar to an artist. An artist can be a painter by simple sketchbooks, or by a paintbrush, whereas a writer can be one from any genre that is out there. But once that perfect poem, novella, or novel is written and deep inside your heart, your truest desire is to be published and for the world to see your unique work – that right there is when you know your work is as perfect as it can be. It is the truest image of yourself that you can give. It took your heart and soul, sleepless nights, and every  breath of your body to create that work. You made sacrifices with this work that you never thought you’d ever have to do. Aside from God, your family, friends, and your job, it is the most important thing in the world to you.

Then, in a blink of an eye, it’s suddenly gone. Vanished. The piece of history you worked so hard for in sweat and tears, is no more.

I’ve been a writer since twelve years old when I first picked up a notebook and pen and decided to write. Dozens and dozens of notebooks later, I typed them up in the computer. But back then, I was naïve and didn’t realize, until college, the steps that needed to be took to publish. Now, I understand those steps even more, but recently, I made a mistake in judgment that I’ll never make again, causing me to realize the pain and deep disappointment life brings if, as a writer, you do not submit to literary agents.

There are scammers out there who don’t care at all about your book, but literary agents are not that way. They are the ones you must go to not first, but ONLY when submitting your manuscript, poem, etc. They’re the ones you should only query. You edit your work in three ways: through grammar, spelling, and punctuation; through revising sentences and making sure all the facts in the book are correct; then, finally, through making sure the overall book makes sense as a whole. Then, you perfect the query letter and synopsis by making sure the hook of the book stands out and is eye-catching and without using any cliché sentences. Once you are ready to submit to an agent, go onto QueryTracker.com and do so. You research what genre your work places into, and then search for a literary agent who only is interested in such genres.

You do NOT, and I repeat, NOT submit to publishing companies first.

Publishing companies such as Little Brown Co, Scholastic, and other big popular companies are magnificent and prefer literary agents to come to them. They will not accept unsolicited manuscripts, which means without agent representation, which is perfect, because it prevents you from being ripped off. If you submit to a small publishing company apart from literary agent representation, you are at risk at getting scammed and heartbroken. There may be small publishing companies out there who are legitimate, but how can you know for sure unless you risk your entire life’s work to find out? A literary agent keeps you from being scammed and helps you become published; that is their sole purpose. Literary agents are awesome. They are your best friend when it comes to getting published; after you are accepted by them, of course. But once you are, they take good care of you. They constantly keep you in the loop as to what is going on with your book. They make sure your book gets the best service you can possibly imagine. They accept your book, because they believe in it as much as you do, and for them, it’s not about the money or promoting a business. It’s simply about serving the author and helping to publish a book destined for the world to read.

Authors don’t pay a cent when it comes to publishing. The agents and publishing companies promote your book for you. They take care of you. They put your book in print right away. If they have a release date promise for a book, they keep it and never postpone it. They do an excellent service to the author and are their ultimate guard dog. Read my lips: they take wonderful care of you.

Don’t be so desperate to get your book published that you self-publish or else risk your entire life’s work for companies who may not even take care of you. They may say that they do when you first walk in, but you never know on whether or not they’re truly trustworthy unless you risk it. You DESERVE to be taken care of by publishing companies who WILL help you get published, but that can ONLY come through literary agents! Literary agents help you become published and successful. Don’t give up. Trust in the literary agents, and perfect your writing work and query letter in such a way for that to happen. Then, once you are accepted, the hardest work is over and you’ll be on your way to a beautiful writing career as an author.

Fight your entire heart and soul for your cherished work. That’s what you truly deserve is respect and honesty, and the devil is fluently involved in destroying it otherwise. No matter what anyone ever says or does, your treasured work is perfect and incredibly worth a literary agent who will take care of it with every bone in their body. God has blessed you with this talent of writing, painting, etc not to see it go to waste, but to bring you to a career that you will love and adore the rest of your life – all because you made the right decision and chose literary agent representation.

Happy Writing! 🙂 Have a good March, everyone 🙂

JMK~

Be Who You Are~

Be Who You Are~

September 1, 2016

Hello everyone 🙂

Hope everyone has had a good week.

Inside the picture above you, you will see an image that represents the season of autumn – at first glance. At second glance, you will see something altogether different. Every leaf within this picture is different. Each leaf is unique in its own way. They may a different color, different shape, or different size. But each leaf has its own story. It’s been to only places that leaf has been to. The wind has taken each one of them in different directions, only to land them on this wooden platform. Just think of the people each leaf has breezed past in the wind, of the people who stepped on them, picked up and cherished, or simply been gazed at as it hung healthy on a tree.

There is way too much hatred in the world today – by that, I mean, the horrible things I see on the news. People are unkind to their neighbors. There’s way too much violence. It’s getting worse by the day. And there’s one thing that stands out from all of that – people are so unique in their own ways and personalities that others become “too different” and because of that, it is therefore unacceptable.

Last night in Wednesday night Bible class, we learned about the disciple, Stephen. According to Acts 7, he was criticized deeply, even to the point of death, by the religious leaders at the time, only because he was sticking up for the Gospel and the facts that Christ truly had existed. It is a beautiful but sad testimony. But what did Stephen do? Did he become angry and use harsh words? No. Instead, he remained calm and focused, standing up for what God taught in His Word. It’s beautiful.

Do you ever see a group of little kids cross the street or play together on the playground? Each little person has their own unique styles and personalities. While one will find hobbies of writing and painting, others will learn and understand mathematics through accounting unlike anybody else could. One kid may one day find the cure to cancer, while still others discover that they don’t mind that job at Wal-Mart after all. Or perhaps they will work as a custodian, enjoying the work simply because of the people they work with on a daily basis.

You see, everybody has their own unique styles and ways of doing things. Each person has their own hobbies they prefer, while others may think of those hobbies as silly or a waste of time. My point is – be your own person in your own style of your hobbies and talents, and don’t you ever let anyone else tell you otherwise. Act upon those hobbies, passions, and talents that make you uniquely you and creative in your own beautiful way. As long as they coincide with being appropriate in God’s eyes as read in His Word, and don’t let others pull you down. There’s too much negativity and hatred in the world today. Too many people are competing to be more or less than somebody else. Or else they make fun of others simply because that hobby or style is “weird” or “different.” All I can ask you is, when you’re old, what are you going to think about your past life? Will God see it as a good life when you stand before Him one day? Will you say that you’ve lived a happy and fulfilling life?

We should be just like Stephen. There should be Stephens everywhere today in our lives, full of kindness, love, calm, focus, and immense courage to be their own person. And, we should teach our children and our children’s children to act the same way. Don’t tell the kind of story that might show up on the news or would be frowned upon by God, Who is always watching. Tell the kind of story that will warm others’ hearts and make your own heart truly happy. Hold tight to your love for God and others, and hold tight to your hobbies and talents, for they have become who you are, and who you are is your character and livelihood. Live a beautiful, wonderful life.

Enjoy your week, everyone 🙂

JMK~ 🙂