Monthly Archives: August 2014

God Has a Plan

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In lieu of doing a Reader’s Choice post today, I’ve decided to do something a little more like my Sunday posts. Unfortunately, no one has been sending me ideas for Reader’s Choice topics, so I’m out of ideas on that account. 😦 While it’s sad, that was probably meant to be for today. I have something much more pressing that needs to be written. 

My doggy passed almost a year ago now. I grew up with him, since he had been a Christmas present in the year that I attended first grade. (I’m in my 20s now if that is any indication for how long we have been together and how close we became). When Max first got sick, I always thought that it wasn’t right to put him down; we didn’t know how much longer he may have lived, and we would be cutting his life short by putting him down. He ended up living for well over a year after the vets predicted he would make it. We’re pretty sure it was cancer, and it was a long, slow process to adjust to his way of life as an older dog. At the same time, we held on because he showed no signs of pain and was just as attentive and special as ever. When we got back from a trip in October of last year, he started dwindling faster; we could tell he didn’t want to eat as much, his legs hurt him more, and he was so skinny that it was almost scary. But he continued to fight. And then, one week, I just knew. Before he even began to whimper or cry, I knew that he was ready to go and that God had called him to His side. I’m not sure how I know, though I attribute some of it to my closeness with Max. That’s when we decided it was best for him to go where he was needed. 

DSCF0058 (Max in 2012)

The decision to put Max to sleep was by far the hardest decision I have ever had to make. My family took it really hard since he was our first (and only) pup, and it was even harder for me knowing that I had been one of the first people to say that it was time. But God sent me a message somehow and told me that it was right. I didn’t realize it then, but I realize it now.

I’ve wanted another dog since… well, a long time. I thought Max would love a companion, but it turned out he was too protective and selfish in his own cute way. So he was an only dog, and loved every minute of it. It didn’t take long for my love of dogs to return to me, and I’ve been wanting a pup ever since. Unfortunately, the rest of my family was hesitant to move another animal into our lives after such a horrible loss. And then, miraculously, yesterday my parents said that it would be okay. I’m not sure what happened to change their minds, but Mom said she had been feeling it for a while now, and my sister was on board with her too. It took a few days to convince my Dad, but at the end of the day, he just wants us happy and we all know he (secretly) loves dogs.

I spent a lot of time last night searching for dogs on the Internet. It’s not the first place that I would go to find a puppy, but I was trying to find out what the best location to visit would be. I particularly wanted another schnauzer, but after some tears from pictures that looked too much like Max, we opened our options a little bit more. 

After everyone went to bed last night, I couldn’t sleep. I decided to keep searching and came across this local organization that rescues animals from high kill shelters and surrenders from households. Many of the animals are young, but not all of them. I searched the entire list. May I just say, it’s sad to me to know how few places there are to help these animals considering how many animals there are. I have always known about animal abuse and overpopulation because people are stupid sometimes, but I never realized just how bad it was. I started leaning towards adopting a rescued pet instead of buying one from a breeder. 

The website that I was searching, funnily enough, had a picture of two little schnauzers on it. They were mixed breed schnauzers, and looked slightly larger, so I sent an email inquiry and then moved on. I figured that, with their long legs, they would be giant schnauzers instead of miniatures. 

This morning I checked my emails to no avail. The company hadn’t returned my inquiry yet. We went in town to run some errands and have some fun at a town festival, and then we planned to head to the SPCA to check on some other dogs that I had found. Here’s where the huge irony hits… the organization that had the little schnauzers was at the town festival! And the dogs were there! 

Needless to say, I did fall in love with the little boy, and even filled out an application. Then, more wonderfully yet, our vet showed up at the festival and was able to give a great reference to the organization on our account! As I sit here now, I keep frantically checking out the adoption agency’s website to see that he is not pending adoption yet- this is great news for me! And the more I sit here and think, the more I feel that this was a sign. The stars aligned just too perfectly in this case for it to be anything but a small act of God. I believe that my family was destined to get a pup, destined to make the decision this week as we did, and destined to run into little Jasper at the festival.

 Jasper

I‘ll leave you with two thoughts to end this post. 1) Spay and neuter- I don’t care how much you have to pay to get it done! Be responsible. Seeing so many animals in shelters (even non-high kill shelters) killed my heart and smashed it into pieces today. If I could have adopted them all, I would have! 2) Remember that God always has a plan and it’s only after the fact, and through some deep reflection, that you may ever see the path that He has led you down. But, regardless, be thankful. Everything happens for a reason and God does indeed send messages to those who wait and open their ears to hear him.

Wish us luck in this new adventure, and I’ll be praying for greatness for all of you too!

52 Lists: Albums

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music

Before I begin this post, I should note two things: First, I am a music addict, so the following 20 items are not nearly the end of my list. Second, I don’t listen to music on CDs very often, so asking me to name albums is all but impossible for me. I listen to music to hear music, not to memorize the names of albums. For that reason, I’ll be listing my favorite songs (hopefully with their singers) rather than entire albums. 🙂

My Favorite Music:

  1. Hallelujah- as sung by Alexandra Burke
  2. Broken- Lindsey Haun
  3. Love Song- Sara Bareilles
  4. Deeper Than the Holler- Randy Travis
  5. Mean- Taylor Swift
  6. I Will Wait- Mumford & Sons
  7. Gone, Gone, Gone- Phillip Phillips
  8. Home- Phillip Phillips
  9. Cups- Anna Kendrick
  10. Where is the Love?- Black Eyed Peas
  11. Amazing Grace
  12. Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO
  13. Suds in the Bucket- Sara Evans
  14. A Little Bit Stronger- Sara Evans
  15. Apologize- One Republic
  16. Rubberneckin’- Elvis Presley
  17. Johnny & June- Heidi Newfield
  18. Walk the Line- Johnny Cash
  19. Devil Went Down to Georgia- Charlie Daniels Band
  20. I’ll Stand By You- as sung by Carrie Underwood

There you go people! That’s it. I listed them in order that I thought of them, not in order of preference. That’s why some of them are grouped together by singer. Oops? Hope you enjoy listening to some of these!

Wacky Wednesday- The Hardest Things (L1T6)

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Wacky

I had thought about skipping this post today, because I’m pretty darn exhausted. But then, out of curiosity, I read the topic for the day and felt that I just couldn’t skip this post or until until next week! So here goes…

What is the hardest thing I have ever been through? I cannot answer that question. Sorry. The number one thing? There is no number one thing. I have been through so many challenging and unfortunate things, even at this early point in my life, that I cannot choose just one. So how about a list? Here are the things that would vie for the first place position:

1. Growing up with anxiety, especially during the school year when drama and big tests, etc. were destined to occur. And that one time where I kept my parents away from one of their vacation trips because of this problem. 

2. Having to accept the fact that my family shrunk to half of its size because of drama. This item in itself is composed of dozens of other occurrences that could be considered some of my worst.

3. Having the house broken into while my parents try to prevent the situation- being too scared for my own sake and not saving my sister from this one was something that I struggled with for a long time. I sometimes still think about it almost 10 years later…

4. My first day as a freshmen. Sometimes people are just hateful and rude before they even get to know you. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong end of that stick. 

5. Losing my best friend, my confidante, and the one I could always go to during any of these other bad situations. To my pup, Max, I still miss you. And, though I in no way want to replace him, living the past year without this type of affection and cuddling has been extremely hard as well.

6. Losing my grandpa and then realizing that, even though he wasn’t a perfect person, I didn’t get to know him nearly as much as I would know him now if he were still alive. The closeness that I feel with my grandma is something I’ll never get to feel with him.

7. Being bullied in school. This one, for many, is self explanatory.

8. Disappointing the ones I love in many different ways. Most recently, having to deal with a snag in my relationship- while both of us have a lot going on that contributed to the distance that is now between us, I still feel disappointed in us and think he probably feels the same way. Regardless which of us is more or less to blame, etc. we could both fix this situation if we try hard enough, but the time between now and that point is going to be long and excruciating- if it ever even ends.

9. Watching someone that I love deal with depression and such a drastic feeling of inadequacy that they considered suicide and self-harm. I cannot even begin to explain how important it is for you to stick by that person’s side. Regardless of your feelings during this type of situation, that person whom you love is the one who really needs the attention and care. Whatever you do, do not leave their side physically or emotionally!

10. Breaking off my engagement for reasons that I could not only control to a certain extent. Basically any time we are not in control of our lives and something bad happens, we think it’s awful. This time though, I was giving up something that I never though I’d have in the first place. Just when I was used to having a new person around in my life, they disappeared. I’ll never rush into an engagement/marriage again. 

So there you go- my top ten. I gave some details with each of them because I don’t feel the need to go back and rehash each one now that I’ve stated them. In fact, this post itself has been extremely difficult for me to write. I’m now rehashing each of these instances in my head, and it’s not a good feeling to have all of that negativity at the forefront of my mind. I think now is a good time to move on to another one of my post topics, so check back soon for new content!

The Most Important Lesson is Always the Last

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Robin Williams

I’m sure that people around the world have heard the news by now. Yesterday, this lovely man passed away. This post will be about him, but even if you did not appreciate his acting talents and comic relief, please continue to read. 


 

I’ve never really been the kind of person to have favorite actors, singers, bands, celebrities, and idols. I find it silly that these people who are doing jobs just like us are “prized” and treasured more than anyone else in the world. It seems to me that each one of us has a unique talent, and just because I am not creative and silly enough to be a comedian or actor, doesn’t mean that there’s nothing special about me. Until today, if you had asked me who my favorite actor was, I might reply any number of ways: Nicholas Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ralph Waite to name a few. But recently, things have changed…

It’s sad that I realize this change today of all days. Why not yesterday or a year ago, I wonder. But the main point is that I have realized that my favorite actor is Robin Williams. And, unlike the ways that most people choose their favorites and their idols, I would reply with this name for reasons other than his acting career. Sure, without even realizing it, I grew up with Robin’s talent: from Genie in Aladdin, to acting in Flubber, Robin Williams was one of my most watched actors. Even in recent years, I have enjoyed his comedy abilities in movies like RV. The thing is, while this man had a big career, he had an even bigger heart and more brilliant mind. 

As news spread of Robin’s death, people continued to talk about him on social networking sites that I frequent. In the past twenty four hours, I’ve read a list of all of his acting performances, the awards that he has won, and read quite a few of his most famous and touching quotes. 

So what makes me wish that Robin were still with us today? Besides the fact that he was too young to die, I find it important to note that he had the right outlook on life. The advice that Williams spent his life instilling in young children and adults alike is reason enough to love him for the man that he was. Even better, he knew how to make every person smile in some way. 

I never even met this man, but I have to say that he has one of the biggest hearts that I have ever heard of. I suddenly feel the need to print a picture of him and hang it at my desk at work- not to be creepy, but for inspiration. If ever there was a person who I would like to learn something from, it would be Williams. 

And as the title of this post states, the most important lesson to be learned is always the last. While speculation has arisen about the cause of death in this incident, it seems that Robin committed suicide. This, unfortunately, is not a new subject to us, especially when it comes to the death of celebrities. But the thing is, even though Robin may have been depressed and may have had problems, he spoke out about things that could make a difference in a person’s life. He taught us how to care, laugh, take joy in life, and enjoy the company of others. At the end of the day, maybe the most important lesson that he ever taught us was this:

It is never too early to let people know what is going on inside of your head.

Maybe a higher power was working in this man’s life to take him away from us all so early; maybe there is a bigger plan for his numerous talents than any of us on Earth may realize. But regardless, it is never too early to talk. Whether Robin Williams did or did not have depression problems, whether he did or did not commit suicide, he has given us all the opportunity to sit back and think about our lives and the lives of others. Suicide and depression are real issues in a majority of people’s lives today. Even if Robin’s problems were unnoticed and unspoken in regards to his friends and loved ones, he has given us this opportunity to learn more about each other. If any of us are suffering from mental illness or are feeling alone in our lives, we need to realize that now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to stop being ashamed and afraid of the truth, now is the time to believe in ourselves and put the smiles back on our faces that Robin was able to instill in us all these years. 

I pray that we all learn something from this death. And while I hate to make a big deal out of a person’s passing, I am truly feeling for his family, friends, coworkers, and the world right now. Many other actors and celebrities have died before Williams- unfortunately many will also follow. I’m sorry that I haven’t taken the time to inspect their accomplishments like I am now doing for him. However, I too have learned that people are more than meets the eye and something can be learned from everyone on this planet. 

If you are still reading this, please take the time to pray for this horrible loss. Please also take the time to rethink the experiences that you have had recently. Be sure that no one you know is suffering from anxiety or depression right now. If they are, reach out to them in whatever way you possibly can. And if you are one of the people who fall into this category, seek help on your own, for you never know if it will come to you before it’s too late. 

In closing, I would like to say that God has gained another beautiful angel, and that Genie now is, truly, free. 

For more about Robin Williams’s life, simply search his name on Google and begin to read articles- they are abundant and ever-varying. To get you started, I will share my favorite post on Robin so far. 

Also, if you or anyone you know suffer from anxiety or depression, please contact Common Ground’s Suicide Prevention/Help Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

To all of you, God Bless. 

Sunday’s Sermon: Shutting out the Bad, Letting in the Good

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Sunday Sermon

I’m writing today because there’s nothing else for me to do. I feel pretty stuck at the moment, though it’s not because of my anxiety. Instead, I feel stuck because my life is changing drastically and I don’t know what to say about it. I suddenly feel like I don’t understand other people, like I have no clue how to see situations from an outsider’s perspective. Normally I’m pretty good at seeing things from different points of view, at least to some extent. But now I’m feeling sort of lost in that department.

I won’t get into specifics to explain why I am feeling so incapable of a normally easy task, but I will say that one of my friendships is taking a very drastic dive because of this issue. And the worst part is, I cannot tell if the other person is simply being illogical and not thinking about anyone but themselves (as it is starting to seem from my point of view), or if it is the case that I just cannot see things from their angle to really know what to think.

I also feel like I should not be thinking into this nearly as much as I am, but I cannot stop myself. My brain has no turn off button, and it is pre-programmed to focus on the most stressful things in my mind first. Hence the way this day is working out to not be as good as I thought.

I would like to solve this issue, come to some sort of agreement with my friend, move on. My goal in life is to be happy and to become closer to God, but these issues are just clouding over everything right now. It’s increasing my anxiety, upsetting my stomach, and making me sleep even less. Those, unfortunately, are then reacting with other situations to make my life even harder. 

I didn’t go to Church today (that’s another story in itself) but I have been sitting here praying to God to show me the way through this muck. He seems to be telling me that I should just leave things lay. Something will change or occur on its own, so I’m trying to be patient. It’s a very hard thing for me to have patience, so I am also praying about that. 

It’s funny how God answers our prayers in ways that we wouldn’t originally want or expect. I don’t want to sit around and wait for things to occur; I’m the type of person who needs to get things done and settled to move on to more goals and accomplishments in my life. Yet I feel that something has been pushing me to just drop this subject and see how it will turn out down the road. Maybe God is telling me to calm down and leave it be- maybe that is the answer to my prayer. It might seem to be an odd one to a person seeking a direct answer to get something solved, but if not solving the problem is an answer, so be it. 

Along with everything that has been happening lately, I finally got up the nerve to participate in a Church event. I volunteered this weekend at a picnic that my Church hosted. At first I didn’t really want to help out, especially after I heard that everyone else in my family would be working and unable to go with me. But I was specifically asked by one of the ladies to help, so I felt bad for saying no. It seemed like the golden opportunity to participate in something. I’ve been considering Church choir or another religious-related activity- I’ve just been too nervous and wimpy to try anything new. 

The deal that I made with my sister was that I would go to the picnic for about two hours until she got off of work, and then she would come out and help me for the rest of the evening. By the time she got off of work, she was too tired to help, so she went straight home. My dad also left because he thought it was too hot outside, and my grandmother left an hour or so later because she had finished all of the baking and things that she was responsible for. 

Truth be told, I don’t know a lot of people at my Church. I go for myself, and sit with my family through the services. There are very few extra activities that my family attends, and as I stated, I don’t participate in any of the organizations. By the time everyone I really knew left, I felt that I was alone. With the way my stress has been amplified lately, and the way that my nerves have been reacting to other situations in my life, being there with a bunch of strangers was too much for me to handle. It seems silly, but it was true.

I ended up coming home early. I felt bad about it, but there was nothing else I could do. I could have stayed and stuck out the rest of the night, but everyone there would have seen my visible distress. I tried to control myself, calm down, and focus on something better, but it was one of those days where even the most powerful control doesn’t stop my thoughts from running rampant. 

In the end, I’m glad that I got to do some good. I fear that I’ll never feel comfortable enough at that particular event to volunteer there again (for reasons that I also don’t care to explain). However, I hope that one day there will be people at my Church whom I will know or come to know, so that I might participate in activities involving other people who share my Faith and would be willing to give and get support from a person like me.

To sum this all up, I guess we all just have to keep praying. Volunteering will also help us become better people, at least in some way. And even if it doesn’t all work out perfectly, my advice is to reflect on any situation and find something that you may have learned. Or, if you can find some way in which you have grown, that can turn into an equally good lesson. If you enjoy volunteering or have anything to add to this post, let us all know!

Wacky Wednesday- The Lie (L1T5)

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Wacky

First of all, I have to tell everyone that it’s back to work for me tomorrow. I’ve been enjoying the ability to work from home for the last few weeks, and not every day at that. Looks like life will be changing up for a bit. Give me a few weeks to get adjusted- there might be some missing posts between now and then, but I’ll do my best to keep up with my blogging! 

The Wacky Wednesday topic for today is about lying. Namely, the list says to write about “That one time you told a huge lie and kinda got away with it {or perhaps you didn’t and that would make an even better blog post! Cringe}.” Since I just read this (less than a minute ago), I have no idea what to write about yet. Sure, just like everyone, there have been little white lies in my life. But something so extreme that I would immediately think of it after reading this topic? No… Which is a good thing right?

(5 minutes later)

Okay, I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this story before, and I’m not really ashamed of it anymore. But I used to be. When I was younger, what I did seemed so wrong. But now I understand my desperation to do or say something to change the course of events and the way my life was unraveling. So here’s the story… Hopefully you won’t think any worse of me after you’ve read the story.

To set the background, let me just explain to you that I was in sixth grade when all of this started. By the end of my seventh grade year, I was at my wit’s end. In more ways than one, I had had enough of the situation. What, you may ask, is the situation? Bullying. Which, to some people, may not be the worst thing in the world, but to a girl who used to be popular and have everything going for her, being bullied can seem like the end of the world. 

In sixth grade, a group of students started to bully me. I’m not sure why- maybe my grades or because I had done or said something to upset someone. I guess I will never be sure, but it started nonetheless. The biggest problem with this bullying was that it originated from the same group of peers who had been my best friends since second grade. Almost five years of my life devoted to friendships with these people, and they just started bullying me.

At one point, the girl that I considered my best friend started treating me even worse than the rest of the kids. I guess that was around the fall of my seventh grade year. She wasn’t the type of person to be rude to my face, so she would say crap about me behind my back, to my other friends. It was from them that I heard these horror stories about her attitude toward me. 

About halfway through the year, things got even worse. Now she was willing to say things to my face, in front of other people, to cause a scene. Teachers didn’t care, so let’s face it, I was alone. I attempted to make new friends, but most kids don’t like you if you’re from the “popular group”. Apparently my friends had made it a habit to be rude to others, and I just didn’t know about any of those incidents. I never thought it would be so hard to make friends.

One day, as I was grabbing textbooks from my locker, one of the guys approached me and asked me what was going on between “her” and me. I didn’t know what to tell him- I really had no explanation for what was going on and was just trying to keep my distance. When I told him that I just wanted to stay out of it, he kept pressing me for answers to questions, for details to the story… probably for something to go back and tell all of his other friends. I got tired of trying to avoid his questions and was soon going to be late for class, so I gave him what I was looking for. 

What’s her problem? He kept asking. Well, to my point of view her problem was this: “She’s acting like a bitch and that’s all I know.” There. I said it. It felt good to say it, though I instantly regretted the use of the b-word. But it was said and there was no taking it back now. The guy stood there, completely shocked, and said something to the effect of “whoa, what?” 

By this time I had caught my mistake with the b-word and tried to re-word things so that my life didn’t become even more complicated. I replied, “In my opinion this is just stupid drama, and we are both acting that way by not just working together and getting over it.” And then I walked away.

There it was. The lie of the century. The biggest lie of my life. Because I didn’t think that I was doing anything wrong. I may have been young and naive, but I honestly did not see how me being bullied was my fault. Though I sometimes had depressing thoughts of that nature, it never occurred to me that my problem was an attitude issue. Not my attitude anyway…

I’m not sure if that boy ever told anyone else what I had said. As I turned down the next hallway, I glanced back to see him standing there at my locker staring at me as though I had just let an anvil drop on his toe. Oops! 

I’ve never told that story to anyone either, which I guess in and of itself is a type of lying. People asked me multiple times that year whether I had done anything to encourage the bullying, and I always replied no. Honestly, I hadn’t. Not at the beginning, not up until this day, and not ever after this conversation occurred. I stayed away from the bullies and did my best to ignore them when we shared a classroom. But now, as an adult, I look back on that time and see a lie. Lots of confusion, granted, but one pretty big lie just because I have held this secret in for so long, and it bugged me for so many reasons.

So now that I have said this, I’m going to go and find something distracting to do. Work starts tomorrow, and I need to stay focused on the future, not the past. Hopefully I will be forgiven for what I have done (yes, I have apologized, though never mentioning the exact reason why), and I can continue to just move on with my life. 

 

Monday’s Message: Murality Intrigues Me

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Message Monday

I don’t have much to talk about today, my mind is drawing a blank. So I decided to do some searching on the net for something interesting to discuss. This post will surely be short, but keep reading because I feel like this topic is interesting and important. 

Canada has this organization called Murality (which has a website for more information). Basically it’s about bettering the world around us, especially through color and different forms of art. People take their different art ideas and create these beautiful murals somewhere in Canada. Murality’s site shares pictures of the murals that are being designed or have been completed, and promotes the great idea of just leaving something better than you found it. 

I’m sure there are many organizations out there that promote similar ideas and beliefs as Murality, but this one particularly intrigued me because of the first mural that was built. Jump For Joy is actually an international project where people all over the world take photographs of someone suspended in the air during a jump. The people are all smiling faces and happiness, but what intrigues me even more is the beautiful scenery behind them. The nature and surroundings add more to the picture than just a happy person jumping for some fun. The whole project really is amazing. 

Anyway, Jump for Joy teamed up with Murality to create the first 9000 square foot mural of the photos that have been collected from the Toronto area. The entire thing seems a bit overwhelming from the photos that are shown, but it looks absolutely amazing if you inspect it one step at a time. Just absolutely… amazing. 

Every one of you who are reading this right now should check out the links and learn more about Murality. Then, if you would leave comments below about what you think, that would be great. I’d also love to hear of other organizations, people, and groups who are doing something genuinely good without expecting anything in return. If it’s enough to put a smile on even one person’s face, then it’s worth the story. 🙂

Sunday’s Sermon: So I Snoozed…

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Sunday Sermon

That’s right- I slept in extra long today. It makes sense, since I have been less active than normal lately (so I don’t sleep as soon in the evenings). But it also means that I missed Church this morning. I guess I’ll have to get used to that fact since my job starts up again this week. Between going to college full-time and working full-time, I’m not sure if I have time to go to Church every week. Maybe, hopefully. At the very least, I pray on my own and keep up with this blog as much as possible to stay in touch with my Faith. That, at least for a while, will have to be enough. 

In the meantime though, I’ve got nothing good to discuss from the Sermon this morning. I have no idea what they discussed. So, I’ve decided to talk about something less religious and more intriguing (at least to me). The topic? Amish. Yep, Amish. 

The lives of the Amish intrigue me a lot. I think most of the interest comes from the fact that I’m an old soul at heart. At least that’s what I’ve been told. People always tell me that I would have been way happier twenty, thirty, even forty years ago. Though I’m not sure I completely agree (what would I do without my technology???), I do believe them to an extent. People were, in many cases, more caring and more able to wear their heart on their sleeves back then. That’s the type of person that I am, so it makes sense.

The thing is, the Amish live without a lot of technology and modern amenities. I’m not so sure I’d like being without running water, sewage, etc. but I bet I could get a lot of reading done if I didn’t have a television or computer. Plus I enjoy the small things that the Amish find necessary to survive; sewing, gardening, tending to animals. I might not be so great in the cooking department, but I could learn. And the more close-knit my community is, the happier I would be. 

Sure, just because the Amish live by a different set of beliefs doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own life problems. Problems are, in my opinion, completely based on perception. So I’m sure it would be a struggle. But I’d have an even better work ethic than what I already have, I wouldn’t take so many things for granted, and I probably wouldn’t be so fat. Not that I’m obese or anything, but I don’t work out, or work, nearly as much as I ought to. 

This whole conversation leads me to wonder if I would be able to survive in the life of an Amish girl. I’m thinking that, if I had to, the answer would be yes. But I wonder if I would truly be happier. I guess I’ll never have the opportunity to test the theory since their communities are pretty closed. Plus, their religious beliefs differ from mine and I don’t really plan on changing my beliefs just to test a theory. 

Anyway, I would also like to take the time to make the point that I said something very VERY important a few sentences ago: Struggles and problems are completely up to perception. Today, and for the last few days, I have been experiencing some problems with perception. You see, just because I am extremely close to my family and friends does not mean that we all see things from the same angles in the same ways. When we see things from a different perspective, people get upset, people seem distant, and things get a little sticky. So I pray that things will be better, apologize if I’ve truly done something wrong, and try to learn from the little mountains that block my path. The thing is though, I wish that everyone would understand that I do not do or say things to be mean or hateful. I do not try to create drama— EVER— and have bad days myself sometimes. I cannot be perfect, in even my own eyes, so I just try the best that I can.

Hopefully people will learn that they may say something completely okay to them, but that will hurt someone else. I challenge each of you this week- if you have a disagreement, are confused about someone’s words or actions, or are otherwise upset by someone- to take a minute and evaluate the situation from a wider stand point. Don’t assume that the other person is wrong, that someone is out to make your life difficult, and that no one cares. I’m sure that there is at least one person out there who cares for each of you. And if any of the situations that you experience could have arisen because of misinterpretation or different people’s perspectives, try to smooth it over without hurting the other person, lashing out, or making things worse. Teach others that perception is what causes most disagreements and problems, so we should all lead our lives with a more open mind. If the person you disagree with does not get agree with you and will not lend an ear, at least move on by being the bigger person. Don’t pass judgement, don’t ruin someone else’s day, and don’t talk about anyone behind their backs. You will feel better for it, and hopefully, others will see the best side of you too! You’d be surprised what you will find out about yourselves when you consider other people first.