Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blurry Week and A to Z Challenge

                I must say that I have no idea where the last week went! Work has been exceptionally stressful with a constant stream of patients and new year insurance changes. The only day I had away from work since my last post was Sunday and I feel as though the entire week has completely escaped in a blur. I even fell asleep before 11:00pm one night, and that is early for this night owl. On top of that, I just announced my Wednesday postings because of having Tuesdays off to write and then a coworker needed to trade with me for Thursday this week. It’s almost ironic! But, I'm posting nonetheless.

I had a really great idea for today’s post on Tuesday morning and I was sorting out the details in my head on the way to work. The problem was that work came between my idea and getting home to write it out. I forgot some of my points and lost the direction I wanted to take with it, so I hope the rest of that idea will come back to me, but it’s not going to make it for this post. I guess as foolish as it may feel, I probably should start voicing my thoughts to my phone’s recorder.
Back to this month’s theme of goals: in the midst of the chaos, I managed to officially sign up for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. The list opened on Monday and I signed up at about 2:30pm CST and I was #251, and the last time I checked there were 377 blogs signed up! It amazes me how many people participate and the hosts do an amazing job at maintaining and promoting it. The challenge’s founder Arlee Bird had an excellent idea and even he probably never imagined it would get this big! I am excited about participating again, and I think I have finally settled on the theme I want to use this year. I had another theme in mind, but I came up with an idea I liked better earlier this month. I will have to do a little research for a few of those trouble letters, but I think this theme will work well and I will reveal it in March. I am leaving you with a few verses that have helped me this week and I will see again next week with a particularly difficult Question of the Month and the IWSG.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:11b, 13 (KJV)


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Making Plans

                I’ve been sticking to a theme of goals in my posts so far this month and I kind of like having an overall theme for the month, so I might try it again sometime. In this post, I will attempt to lay out a plan for the next few months on my blog. Disclaimer: Anything I assign here is subject to change or cancelation.

                I plan to continue participating in the Question of the Month on the first Monday and the Insecure Writers Support Group on the first Wednesday of each month. In April, I plan to participate in the A to Z Challenge for a second year. Besides April and the beginning of each month, my blog schedule is fairly open. As I stated last spring, the possibilities and directions I can go are endless! I do plan on mainly sticking to this blog’s roots of devotional content and life lessons God is teaching me. Since I am usually off work on Tuesdays, I plan to make Wednesday my regular post day each week after the QotM and IWSG. If my plans are hindered for some reason, I will most likely have a Throwback Thursday Photos post. I will probably include some extra Throwback Thursdays every once in a while. I may sign up for an occasional blog hop. I would also be open to guest posts or author tours. I’m not exactly sure how to conduct a guest post, so anyone who might be interested would be my guinea pig (or maybe I’m the guinea pig here, haha). 
                As for my ailment, I am still experiencing a bit of congestion, but the symptoms are becoming less severe. With that, my motivation seems to be increasing a little more. Thank you for your prayers! As I said in my last post, slowing down on the busyness for a couple weeks wasn’t too bad because I have been more diligently focused on my daily Bible reading and study. I have actually stayed caught up on a Bible reading in one year plan, but it has only been 20 days so far, we’ll see how the rest of the year goes :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Unexpected Accomplishment

                So, the New Year came and I was almost feeling slightly motivated. Then, wham! I get hit with a sore throat on January 2nd. Then, another hit the same day with a substitute pharmacist at work who was unfamiliar with our regular processes and with it being a New Year, just about everyone’s insurance changed and only half of them had a new card. And who had to fix all of the insurance problems and make the phone calls? Me! And I hate making phone calls! So, my sore throat turned into a raging fire by the end of that day and I think the stress was too much for my immune system because I have been having cold symptoms and congestion since then. Did you know that feeling ill is not very motivating? So, I have spent most of this year so far sleeping and resting when I wasn’t at work. As I stated before, this is part of the reason I don’t make resolutions, because you never know what’s going to hit next. At least I don’t have any failed promises to cause disappointment, but I still feel a bit unaccomplished since I haven’t really worked on any of my goals for the year yet. The other day as I was coughing and pitying myself, I realized that I was overlooking something. On my days off so far, I have been spending an extra hour sitting in my warm, cozy bed and reading the Bible and looking through some Bible study and devotional books. I still need to work on the mornings when I have to go to work, but I now have a plan laid out to start the day off right when I’ll be home all day. I used some of my downtime to write down lists of things I would like to accomplish in different areas of my life. I also took a Sunday afternoon nap the past two Sundays, which was nice and relaxing. I still have some congestion issues, but maybe God has used this slight ailment to help me slow down and really consider my goals and plans for the year. I may not be entirely motivated to conquer some of my goals yet, but breaking them down and making a more detailed plan has helped me see them as more manageable. At first, I didn’t think the year was starting out well, but when I look past the physical roadblock, I now see that spending more time with God and allowing Him to guide my plans is the greatest thing I could accomplish this year!

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (KJV)

P.S. I am trying to set up a more routine schedule for this blog and I hope to have something ready to present next Wednesday. Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG: Finding the Next Step

            Time for the first post of 2016 with the Insecure Writers Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month. The co-hosts for January are: L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. RoseChemist Ken and Michelle Wallace.

            I took writing up as a sideline project nearly 20 years ago when I was in the 6th grade. It usually took a backseat to school, friends, family, and work. It still does, minus the school. I want to write more and do more with my writings. I was going to call this post “Finding a Starting Point,” but I have already started. I wrote for many of my classes, I’ve journaled for years, I write for this blog, and I submitted a short story for the IWSG contest. It’s not a lot, but it is my two-decades-long point of entry into the field of writing, lol. I guess I find myself asking: Where do I go from here? I want to make my writing more than just another hobby and blogging on a more regular basis since April last year has helped me a lot. Joining this group has also been encouraging. I have read so many great posts full of writing advice and experiences from my fellow bloggers. With a New Year upon us, I am feeling slightly inspired and slightly scared to make new goals in my writing. As I said in my last post, I don’t really make resolutions because my circumstances could change and hinder me from completing them, but I will make some intentional goals to work on this year. My first goal is to set more time for writing, even if I don’t feel particularly inclined to do so, I think that just having a designated time each day for writing would help make it more of a habit. Another goal I have is to write more short stories. I really enjoyed creating the characters and setting in my story for the anthology contest, and I think it would be fun to write more stories of similar length. I also want to look into magazines or devotional journals that accept submissions and enter more contests. Finally, my last goal has been on my long-term list for quite some time now, but if I manage to get into a better writing habit, I think I can take my book ideas out of the brainstorming phase and actually write one! I will probably try a few more short stories first, though :)


Monday, January 4, 2016

January Question of the Month

The Question of the Month is a bloghop that occurs the first Monday of each month and it is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined. Here is the question for January 2016:
What are some New Year’s resolutions you’ve had in the past?
I have not made many New Year’s resolutions for the past few years. I think it’s mainly because the words of my pastor come to mind. He often says that we should not vow to do something unless we plan to stick to it. When we make empty promises, it will only lead to disappointment. That being said, I still do use the New Year as an opportunity to rework my goals. In the past I have redone my budget, started new Bible studies, tried new healthy recipes, and started an exercise routine within the first two months of the year. I did resolve once in January and another year in July to read through my Bible in a year. I did not make it within the year-long deadline, but I did eventually finish both times. I think that goals can be made any time of year, but a New Year is a good time to wipe the slate clean. It’s like picking up an old book you only read halfway through, sometimes it is easier to just start over instead of trying to remember where you left off. If you have made resolutions this year, I hope you do well with keeping them. Don’t give up if you get off course for a few days, just dust yourself off and try again.
Happy New Year everyone! I will see you again Wednesday for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day.

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