May 31, 2018

I think the electricity is finally working!

I woke up, worked on my Bible study with Morgan, and studied for my insurance test. Then, I went to grandma’s house for Easter. After that, I remembered H-E-B is closed tomorrow, so I had to get my groceries before going to Nanny’s.

May 30, 2018

I still don’t know if our electricity is fixed. It went out again today, so I called CPS, 311, left a message with my insurance company, and filed a complaint with BBB. We’ll see what happens.

Shelby came over and I made food while she colored. Haha. I tried to, but I wasn’t in the mood, so I just answered her random questions. Haha.

I bought The Greatest Showman! I can’t wait to watch it tomorrow! I finally watched Relative Race, too! I cried like 3 times! πŸ™ˆ

March 29, 2018

I woke up and went to see my personal trainer, Jeremy, for the first time. He’s awesome! It’s a little odd that he’s only 21, but he seems very knowledgeable and he’s really nice, so that’s cool! I had to do squats, lunges, planks, a various of a push-up, attempted to do a pull-up, ad ran on the treadmill, so he could assess my form and stuff.

Then, I read my Bible and started working on my diet again. I’ve gotten healthier, but it still needs an overhaul! I also watched the Astros vs Texans game! Astros won 4 to 1! 😁

I jogged/walked to Anson to get Lydia and Naomi and drove them home from the apartment since it’s wet outside.

At 6:30, Savannah and I went to a free kickboxing class. It was cool! It costs $125 a month though. So, idk if I’m gonna do it… she will give us a discount for family of $180 a month (total) if Savannah and I do it together, but idk. Besides, I can’t afford a personal trainer and kickboxing. I’ll see how I feel about personal training with my two sessions before I decide what to do next… πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

March 28, 2018

Ciara didn’t come over because of the weather and the electricians also didn’t fix our breaker because of the weather. I love he run, but not today!

I went to the gym and signed up for a personal trainer. Tomorrow I’ll have my physical assessment and have at least two sessions after that. Then, I’ll see if I like it or not.

I read my Bible when I woke up.

March 25, 2018

I went to bed early for church, but then kept waking up every hour. At 4:45, I was restless and decided to get up for the day.

At church, everyone who saw me and is friends with me on Facebook or follows me on Instagram was talking about The Mask; Her Aid. The same was true Friday at the volunteer dinner. It’s awesome, but slightly overwhelming! I can totally understand how celebrities can feel overwhelmed by fame!

After church, Morgan and I went to that newer chicken place near the church. I can’t ever remember the name! Then, we went to her house and started studying the gospels/Jesus’ ancestry together! We made it halfway through Abram’s story! πŸ™‚ We’re gonna make it a regular thing! πŸ™‚

March 23, 2018 – Publishing Day

Officially, my book came out today! 😁 8 people (including me) have bought The Mask; Her Aid so far! 😁 That means I’ve made $1.75 in royalties and $0.68 in profit after subtracting what I spent to buy my copy! 😊

When I woke up, I read my Bible and then started reading The Mask; Her Aid so I could get a feel for it the kindle edition instead of Microsoft Word. πŸ™‚ It was awesome to read my book on my Kindle! ❀️

I had an interview with Chase today. I probably won’t be working with them, because they don’t have any schedules available for Tuesday evenings off. I refuse to give up my Tuesday evening for anything that isn’t Bible Study, especially when I purposely excepted my original Chase schedule because it gave me Tuesday off so I could watch PLL!

Tonight was the appreciation dinner for volunteers at church! πŸ™‚ It was brisket and I ate it. I’m not sure if I was supposed to, but we’ll find out! Haha. I sat with Shelby, Morgan, Travis, and Sarah. It was fun! πŸ™‚ Then, I chatted with Abby Sizemore about eating gf. Eryn told me she’d be eating gluten free from now on and that Abby didn’t like it. She hoped that if someone who Abby thought was cool could talk to her inspire her, then she’d like it more. I hope it worked. πŸ™‚

March 22, 2018 – I’m a published author!!!

I woke up, read my Bible, and read The Five Love Languages. Then, I walked with Lydia and Naomi around the park until 6, because they got off school at 3:40, because they don’t have practice anymore.

Shelby finished editing my book, so I was able to publish it on Kindle! It’s on sale for only $0.99 and I can’t wait to see where the Lord takes it! Idk what kind of success the Lord has in store for it, but it was He who guided me in how to write it, so it will surely be successful in one way or another! Whether that be worldly and heavenly success, or “just” heavenly success, I do not know. No matter what, I know I am blessed and I am grateful for wherever God will take The Mask; Her Aid.

March 19, 2018

I woke up, read my Bible, and read The Five Love Languages. Then, I started studying for my license to sell insurance with Aflac. The page froze though and then showed a screen saying it was undergoing maintenance. At the same time, I received an email asking me for a phone interview with Chase to work for BAM again! I’m hoping I get the job with chase and can have the days/times off I’m looking for! Otherwise, I may have to work for Aflac or somewhere else.

March 18, 2017

I woke up, went to church, served in Youth, spent the afternoon with Morgan, went to the vision meeting for the new youth room, and then bought fruits and veggies from Walmart! I planned on going to bed right away since I’d been out of the house for 12 hours, but it’s almost 1am and here I am! πŸ™ˆπŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

March 16, 2018

I woke up, read Bible and The Five Love Languages & went to H-E-B for some light grocery shopping. Then, I threw out the cardboard boxes I had broken down over the past few days. Then, I did my laundry, put it away, cleaned off my bedroom table, and organized my desk. Shelby didn’t come over after all, because she has a cold. So, I got to finish being productive! Tomorrow, if I have time between waking up going to “Idiot Night” with my small group, then I’ll work on reading/editing The Mask; Her Aid, so I can send it to Shelby and get it published! 😁 I always have to study for my test to sell insurance.

March 15, 2018

I woke up, read my Bible, and spent the day organizing everything I own! Now, everything in the apartment is neat and organized except for the piles of stuff on my fold up table and my desk! I’m hoping to get the those tomorrow before Shelby comes over, but first I’ll have to do the dishes and toss out all this cardboard from breaking down boxes! I watched Boy Meets World while doing most of it.

I did take a break for a few hours to go watch the kids. We ate popcorn and chocolate and watched Wonder. I’m gonna have to rewatch it because a few parts were lost on me as watching a movie with kids is difficult! They were mostly very well behaved though. I’m proud of them! πŸ™‚

March 14, 2018

I woke up and went for a walk with Ciara before chatting for a little while. Then, I went to Walmart, Target, and the mall to find an ID holder. I found three, but only one doubles as a change purse! I would have liked to have options, but I’m really glad my only option was the little mermaid! πŸ§œπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Then, I went to Nanny’s house to celebrate the February birthdays/spring break. We ate pizza (GF for me of course),salad, & I had a small serving of Mac & Cheese. When I came home, I continued my spring cleaning/organizing. My room actually has space! When I’m done in the living room, the whole apartment will look brand new! And that’s mostly just from breaking down cardboard boxes! It’s true, I am a hoarder! I’m working on breaking that though! I bagged up shoes that don’t fit/I can wear because of heels and a few clothes. I’m getting rid of odds and ends I don’t need/use. And I’m trying to put everything in its place so that when I move (hopefully in October when our lease is up) I won’t have to work so hard to pack/organize everything! I didn’t read my Bible today, but I did listen to Jeremy Camp and I did read the verse of the day, so all was not lost. I’ve been told the electrician WILL be here tomorrow or Friday, so I really hope it’s true this time! I’d rather it be tomorrow, but idc as long as the lights stay on and we’re safe from potential electric damage until he comes. I might FaceTime Holly tomorrow! And Shelby is for sure coming over Friday evening! We’re gonna color in our coloring books because we truly are five! πŸ˜‚

March 12, 2018

Today, I woke up, read my Bible, and read The Five Love Languages.

Then, I walked for 2.5 hours for a total of 7.5 miles! After that, I studying calories deficits to see how much is too much and what is healthy for me. I learned that if I subtract 15-25% of my initial calorie intake, then I’m set whether I work out or not. I also figured out that if I want to burn as many calories every week as I did in high school, then I need to walk for at least 1 hour 5 days a week, ideally 2.5 hours 5 days a week, or if I want to lose the weight the fastest then 3.5 hours 5 days a week! 2.5 was pushing it today! Idk if I’d be able to do 3.5! Sure would be nice to lose my 50 lbs as soon as possible though so I can focus more on maintaining my weight than losing weight!

I finally have all the approvals I need to publish The Mask; Her Aid! Now, I just need to read through it to make sure I’m saying what I want to say. Next, Shelby will read/edit it for me! Then, I’ll publish it! It may be published by the end of the week, but for sure the end of the month!

March 11, 2018

I woke up and went to church. We started a series called Rethinking Church. Then, I served in Youth. When I came home, I wrote a song called “Safe Place.” Then, I went to Nanny’s and mostly sat there doing nothing and watching Fixer Upper before it got turned to 60 Minutes. I picked up Simon and Nehemiah from church, then went to Walmart to buy a safety vest for walking, a backpack for walking, and water bottles. I decided if I couldn’t find a bag for less than $20, then it wasn’t worth it right now. I found one for $10! 😁 Instead of buying one safety vest for $10, I bought two large muscle shirts for men for $3 each! Being unemployed has really helped me to figure out how to save money. I’m hoping this will continue when I get a job again!

March 9, 2018

I woke to the electricity going out again. πŸ˜’

When I woke up from my “nap” after waiting for it to be fixed, I read my Bible, The Five Love Languages, and ate Quinoa and Spinach.

Then, I walked the girls home, but Lydia walked back to the apartment with me and we watched Rip Tide. We decided to stop at the EZ Shop and I finally found the Gatorade bottle I’ve been looking for for months!

I came home and started writing another MG scene, but didn’t get to finish it, because I finally got to the “it’s a long walk to Pittsburgh” episodes of Boy Meets World! Then, I decided to download a bunch of nutrition/calorie counting apps to see which one I like more.

At 10 or so, someone on the third floor starting having a really obnoxious party, so I called the none emergency cops πŸš“ to come stop it at midnight! Then I tweeted about it! πŸ€“ Maybe I’ve watched too much #BuffyTheVampireSlayer, but someone on the 3rd floor is having what sounds like a frat party w/ chanting. It’s super obnoxious & I think I might be sacrificed to a demon snake soon! πŸ˜³πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ Or my deepest fears are about to become reality. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

March 8, 2018

I woke up, read my Bible, read the first chapter ofΒ The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition and ate. Then, I had my phone interview with Farm Bureau Bank and in-person interview with Aflac. Both interviews went well and I’m moving on to the next step for each of them. I think I’ll go with Aflac if I have to choose, but Idk yet.

Then, I came home, walked Lydia and Naomi home and went grocery shopping. I’m gonna try to eat the same amount of calories I ate in high school and work out at least 9 hours a week like in high school. I figure, if I want to look like I did in high school, then it might help to act like I’m in high school. That’s only 1.5 hours of working out a day. Considering at least a half hour of practice was just me standing around at the back of the court and most of the games were me just sitting on the bench, I figure if I actively walk 9 hours a week, then I’ll burn at least as many calories as I did in high school. Idk. We’ll see.

Tonight, I wrote the final word forΒ The Mask; Her Aid. Now, I just have to get Lauri, Kristi, Nancy, and Grace to approve their chapters and I’ll be ready for the final editing which should only take a few hours and then I’ll be ready to publish! I’m feeling all the feels right now!

March 5, 2018

Today, I had lunch with Emily at Chipotle. Then, we went to Target and Barnes and Noble for a little while. I wasn’t even really looking at the books, but I glanced down and found “The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition!” I’ve been wanting to read this book since high school, but didn’t have money as a kid and have since felt if the time was right for me to read it, then God would let me find it in the store! I did! I’m excited!

After that, we met Mrs. Angie at her work, helped her look for a lost paper, and went to Starbucks for a while! Then, they invited me to their house where Emily’s MiMi made the most amazing fries and Mr. John made good burgers! He picked up gluten-freeΒ buns for me at Walmart while he was getting other ingredients, so that was nice! He bought the whole grain ones, which I hadn’t tried yet, and they were really good!

Emily and I ended up going to “her room,” which is actually Faith’s, but she’s staying there while she’s here. We had a long, deep, and emotional conversation about high school and current stuff and it was a great healing moment neither of us knew we needed!

March 4, 2018

I woke up from a weird dream that was like an episode of Sister Sister with Tia, Tamera, Tyrek, and Jordan!

Then I went to church and served with two babies and a toddler for the second service.

For lunch, our small group–Bill, Ciara, Robert, Morgan, and I–made impromptu to plans to eat at Panda Express. They didn’t have a gluten free menu, so I just ate steamed rice. It was good!

At Nanny’s House, Jacob taught me how to play Chess! πŸ™‚ It’s fun! And frustrating! Haha.

Then, I wrote my blog post about serving! πŸ™‚

Serve & Be Served–The Truth about Volunteering at Church

There seems to be a weird stigma around volunteering at church. For some reason, few people seem to want to do it. Every church I’ve ever been to–all two of them–are constantly short-handed when it comes to volunteers. Why is that? We all have spiritual gifts, Paul tells us that very clearly in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and a few miscellaneous verses throughout the New Testament. It’s also taught indirectly through several other passages as God uses people and their natural abilities to serve Him and grow the Kingdom So, why is there such a stigma around serving in the church? We could point fingers and say people are selfish with their time. For some that may be true, but I don’t think that’s the root cause. It could be that it’s not clear to everyone what is or isn’t volunteer work, but that’s not it. Churchs are constantly asking members to serve here or there or wherever help is needed. So, what’s the problem then? I think it’s a few things: a) People don’t know their spiritual or personal gifts. b) People don’t see how their talents could possibly be useful in the church. c) People don’t understand how exhausting it is for the ministry leaders and servers when no one else volunteers. d) PeopleΒ don’t understand how much of a gift serving can be to both those who are served and those who do serve. e) Some other reason I haven’t thought of.

a) People don’t know their spiritual or personal gifts.Β It’s easy to understand why a lotΒ of people don’t know what their spiritual gifts are. I grew up in the church and went to a Christian school. Even I didn’t know anything about spiritual gifts until I was senior in high school. There are over a dozen spiritual gifts. Mine are mercy, discernment, and encouragement. Basically, that means I’m really good with people. I feel with them, I’m a good judge of character, and I’m good at encouraging them. If you’d like to find out your spiritual gift(s) then I highly recommend you google “spiritual gifts test” and take a couple assessments. It’s always helpful to get a “second or third opinion” because they are man-made tests so they could be wrong. I like to take several personality and type tests, so I always take at least a few to get a more accurate understanding of where I fit. And keep in mind, we can grow our spiritual gifts. It’s not like your born with one it’s the only one you’re stuck with for the rest of your life. God wants us to become as gifted as we can be.

b) People don’t see how their talents could possibly be useful in the church. Even before I knew anything about my spiritual gifts, I knew I loved kids. I’ve always wanted to be a mommy and I have a bunch of younger siblings. Where better could there be for a girl like me to serve than in Children’s Ministry and or Youth? What about you? What are your passions? What are you good at? Are you good at singing or playing instruments? Join the worship team! Do you love kids? Join children’s ministry! Are you a talker? Do you like people? Join the welcoming team/guest services! Are you interested in computers and other gadgets? Join the tech team! Can you build things? Organize? Work behind the scenes by helping set up and take down for various events. Have other talents or interests? Talk to your pastor, the elders, your mentor, or people you’re close to. I’m sure anyone who knows you could help you find somewhere to serve. A lot of spiritual gifts quizzes also give suggestions on where you can serve.

c) People don’t understand how exhausting it is for the ministry leaders and servers when no one else volunteers.Β It’s possible some (or a lot) of people don’t serve because they think the leaders and regular servers have everything under control. Some may even think it’s not their job, because “I don’t have kids” or “I’m too young” or something else. Maybe they’re insecure for one reason or another. Here’s the thing though, serving on a regular basis can be exhausting, especially if it prevents you from hearing the weekly sermons. I served every two to three weeks in children’s ministry from twelve to fifteen years old. Then, I started serving every week as one of the children’s ministry leaders until I was eighteen. Then, I changed it to every other week for a few months. Took a short break when I started going to a new church and quickly started serving every week again at this new church. I did that for three or so more years until I eventually burnt myself out from serving almost every week for a decade. I wasn’t even the leader of children’s ministry. Can you imagine how exhausted Pastors, Worship Leaders, Children’s Ministry Leaders, Youth Leaders, other ministry leaders and all their family must feel? Leading and serving can be thankless jobs, but they continue to do it, especially when they’re short on volunteers. Maybe you can help relieve some of the stress and exhaustion your leaders and regular volunteers may be feeling by joining one or more of the ministry teams! Whether you do or don’t, try to remember to encourage and thank those who do serve, especially the leaders; they probably need to hear it!

d) PeopleΒ don’t understand how much of a gift serving can be to both those who are served and those who do serve.Β I don’t have any regrets about taking time off from serving for a while. If I hadn’t, then I would have ended up serving with a bitter heart and that’s worse than not serving at all. God is very clear about how He cares far more about our heart than our sacrifices and service. If we aren’t doing it out of love, then He doesn’t want it. He wants us to want to serve Him and others. That said, a couple weeks ago, my best friend let me know our Children’s Ministry had been looking for more volunteers. She didn’t know this until I told her afterward, but God had been nudging my heart for a couple months at that point that it was almost time to get back into serving with children’s ministry. So, I took that as my cue. I offered to help once a month as a means of dipping my toes in the water before jumping all in. As my life would have it though–because I’m an all or nothing kind of girl–I was asked at the same time to serve, at least for a few weeks, with the youth. Little did anyone know, God had also been urging me to see about serving in Youth with the same kids I had served in children’s ministry two years prior.

Last week, I served in Youth for the first time in years. Today, I served in the nursery with the babies and toddlers also for the first time in years. I knew I had missed it, but I didn’t know how much! I was nervous about getting burnt out again. But both last week and this week, God quickly assured me that He is calling me to serve again. He wants me to help the kids and babies and He’ll be with me at every step. The second I walked through the doors of the youth room and then through the door to the nursery, my heart immediately filled with joy and contentment. I belong with kids and youth. I belong somewhere where I can serve and encourage others. Where people in need and young Church kid hearts are, that is where I belong! I grew up as a church kid, so I know what it’s like and what is needed in these areas. God seems to agree (aka, it’s His plan and He just nudged my heart with it) because that’s where He has me serving.

I can assure you that if you serve and you do it with a heart that wants to serve God and others, then you won’t regret it! Even after I got burnt out on serving for a decade, I never regretted it. I just needed a break. If you can’t serve with the right heart, then I urge you to pray for God to humble and encourage you to have a servant’s spirit. Afterall, Matthew 20:28 says, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” If that’s not encouragement enough for you, then surely, praying for God to guide you will be! πŸ™‚

(also, I totally recommend you go read that whole passage! It’s a good one!)

*Helpful Tip* If you want to serve where you can be a big help, but want to take on a little “less responsibility” at first, then here are two suggestions. If you’re an extrovert, then try the welcoming team/guest services! πŸ™‚ You can chat with people as they come in and be the first smiling face newcomers see! If you’re an introvert, then try the tech team! I’ve filled in a few times when needed and as intimidating as it seems, it’s not too difficult, at least not if you’re just clicking arrows for the slides. Maybe you can volunteer for that and then learn the more complicated stuff?

e) Some other reason I haven’t thought of. Can you think of other reasons people might not serve in the church? Feel free to share them with me! πŸ™‚

March 2, 2018 – So Many Job Applications…!

I was going to spend the day writing the final chapter forΒ The Mask; Her Aid and then editing the whole book so I could ask Shelby to read it, but then I ended up applying for jobs all day. I don’t even remember what I’ve applied for at this point. All I hope is that I can find a job where I don’t have to work on Sundays at all or on Tuesday and Saturday evenings so I can go to small group and sleep before church on Sunday!

I also walked to get the girls. Naomi’s knee was hurting, so we drove from the apartment. Then, Lydia went grocery shopping with me. I fed her and took her home afterward.

Oh, and today I decided that after I finish this current plot with Mal in Texas, I’m going to turn Malachi Gregory into a book. Then, I’ll work on the next plots I have in mind for the second book! πŸ™‚

March 1, 2018

Today was self-harm awareness day. It’s an important day to me, because of obvious reasons.

I woke up, read my Bible, read Live Original, walked the girls home from school, came home, and completely rewrote my chapter for The Mask; Her Aid. It was too blunt and angry. Now, I think it’s more graceful and kind! We’ll see after Shelby reviews it for me! It helps to have a second pair of eyes, especially when writing about such a sensitive subject!

February 28, 2018

The baby of the family, Bonnie, is five years old today! β€οΈπŸ’”πŸ˜°πŸ˜Š

I feel so old!

I woke up this morning, read my Bible, started to feel dizzy and nauseous after breakfast, so I came to lay down and took a four or so hour nap! I only got up to pick the girls up from practice. Then, I went to the bank because I had to deposit Savannah’s bill money to pay for rent. I thought I had a few days, but I forgot February has less days than all the other months! Haha.

I came home and continued watching the Jamie Grace show while working on my nutrition guide so I can start heating with intent!