Thoughts on Hope and New Year’s Resolutions

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The shoreline of Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica

The shoreline of Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica

Happy New Year!

2019 was a momentous year for me. It was stimulating, challenging, and transformative for many reasons. I’m usually a sentimental person when it comes to change and turning new leaves and looking toward the future, but this year, despite the life lessons and great memories of the previous twelve months, I am so ready to move forward. I wouldn’t choose to relive 2019 for anything.

I am ready to let 2019 fade into the past and look ahead to the hopeful potentialities of 2020. I’m excited to see what this new year, and new decade, will bring. (Even though change and the future still scare me–gotta be honest here.)

I was reading in my journal from the past year, and I found something that I feel is relevant here. This is what I wrote on January 1st of 2019. It’s about hope and new year’s resolutions. Continue reading

Merry Christmas! | One Simple Way to Potentially Transform Someone’s Day

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Merry Christmas, bloggers and readers!

Today has been a wonderfully relaxing, special day with my family. We had pancakes and opened gifts from each other, then had dessert and more food while watching one of our favorite movies. Now I’m just drinking tea and enjoying some quiet time with Christmas music playing in the background. (And writing this blog post.)

While thinking about what to write for Christmas, this post from last year came to my mind.

Something very similar to the story I share in this post happened to me again recently, and it made me realize once again the importance and transforming power of a smile and a loving, kind attitude toward everyone we meet.

I hope you enjoy this post from last year and that you will have a chance to transform someone else’s day during this Christmas season.

A Writer's Reflections

candy cane heart
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Merry Christmas! How’s your gift shopping going? I finished all of my immediate family Christmas shopping several weeks ago and I’m so proud of myself. I think that’s pretty good for a master procrastinator like me.

Moving on . . . would you like to know a simple way to help make someone’s day so much brighter and more positive? It’s simpler than you think and often overlooked.

If you don’t already know, I’ve been working as a library aide with my county library for the past year and a half. My job primarily involves covering the customer service desk, so I’ve seen quite a few unique and interesting people come through the library.


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Why Writer’s Block Can Always Be Conquered

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I’ve read so many articles and blog posts about writer’s block and how to overcome it. And they all seem to boil down to just a couple of key things:

  • Writer’s block is a uniquely personal thing — every writer’s path to climbing out of the deep dark pit will be different from the next person’s.
  • Writer’s block is less an actual lack of ability or inspiration and more about your mindset — which means three things: 1) that this sort of block can be found in all areas of life, not just writing; 2) writer’s block can always be conquered; and 3) you have to stop using “writer’s block” as an excuse to not write.

Writer’s block is a mindset.

Oh, don’t get me wrong — writer’s block is still a real thing. Painfully, panic-attack real.

But here’s the catch: It’s only as real as you believe it to be. Continue reading

Dear Blog, It’s Not You, It’s Me

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Don’t worry, this isn’t a breakup letter.

Either with you, my esteemed reader, or with you, my valued but under prioritized blog.

Rather, this is my attempt at picking up my poor neglected blog and blowing some life back into it.

But really, at the risk of being cliche, it’s not any fault of my blog that I haven’t posted in so long. It’s me. No, seriously.

And it isn’t even that I haven’t had any motivation to write lately or been stuck in a massive case of writer’s block to rival all writer’s blocks. It’s more to do with the kind of writing I’ve been doing.

Because I’ve actually been writing. A lot.

~~~ Continue reading

Five Simple Everyday Ways to Be Intentional (Part 2)

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Last time I talked about the importance of being intentional and the benefits that come with that particular lifestyle change.

Today I want to talk about some (hopefully) practical, simple ways you can make that change and implement a sense of intentionality into your life.

First of all, I believe you are the best person to analyze and change your own life. You are the best person to look at your life and routine and know what needs to change.

But I’m going to list a just a few things that come to my mind, some of which I personally need to work on, that are probably universal enough to be adapted to your own life as well. I’ve listed five points here, but there are countless other ways to be intentional in our lives that I’m sure we can come up with as we go about our daily lives. Continue reading

Being Intentional – A Lifestyle Change (Part 1)

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What does it mean to be intentional?

The Oxford Dictionaries gives the definition of intentional as “done on purpose; deliberate.”

It’s about making conscious, purposeful decisions and actions.

Being intentional may be simple in definition, but it’s harder to carry out.

Can you think of any ways you are intentional in your everyday life? To be perfectly honest, if you’re anything like me it might be easier to think of all the ways you aren’t intentional. Continue reading

Quote of the Week | My Job is to Love People

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“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.”
— Billy Graham

How would it change the church if we poured our efforts into loving people instead of judging them? How would it change the world?

As Christians, we sometimes assume it is our job to act as the “spiritual police” in our communities. We take it upon ourselves to root out and expose any sort of potential sin or heresy or dissent that we perceive to be wrong or harmful.

While there is a place for spiritual interventions and calling out sin, I think many times we’ve lost sight of the necessary balance and inadvertently crossed the line into pharisaical territory. We’ve become our own spiritual versions of accuser, judge, and jury without leaving enough room for the power of love or mercy. We shake the dust off our hands in satisfaction that we’ve done God a service by refusing to allow any perceived offense to go unchallenged.

In our well-meaning attempts to foster holiness and righteousness in our communities, have we unwittingly become like the stone-throwing religious leaders that Jesus spoke out against time after time? Continue reading

Don’t Get Stuck in the “Aspiring” Mindset

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I used to say that I was an aspiring writer. Now I just say I’m a writer.

What changed?

Well, I realized that I’m not just aspiring at writing anymore. I am writing.

Aspire: verb (intr) (usually followed by to or after) to yearn (for) or have a powerful or ambitious plan, desire, or hope (Dictionary.com).

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with aspiring to be something. Aspirations are cool; they’re necessary. If we didn’t have any dreams or aspirations, we wouldn’t get very far in life. However, I do have a problem with getting stuck in the “aspiring” mindset. And I think it’s way too easy to get stuck there if we keep labeling ourselves as someone who is aspiring to be something even once we’ve left the planning stage.

To aspire means to hope and dream of something that you desire to happen in the future. If you’re aspiring to do something, you have yet to step out and take the first step of doing it. But for some reason we often still label ourselves as “aspiring” even after taking that first step.

Continue reading

Quote of the Week | Peace in the Storm

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“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
It means to be in the midst of those things
and still be calm in your heart.”
~ Unknown


Peace in the storm. That sounds sort of contradictory, doesn’t it? But think about it. Do storms and peace have to be mutually exclusive? Continue reading

On Change: It’s Not Easy But It’s Good

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Here’s the truth: I’m not a huge fan of change.

I’ll start this out with a more innocuous example. Writing.

One thing I’ve learned about writing is that your writing style and persona changes as you grow and mature in writing skill and in your personal life.

Sometimes I cringe when I read an old blog post or story of mine and shake my head at how I used to write. I seriously learned a LOT about writing between the ages of fourteen and twenty-four or so–and it shows. (Fortunately for you, I won’t force you to see that for yourself. Just take my word for it.) Not that I’m anywhere near perfect now, but I do like to think I’ve improved at least some since then.

But then there are those other slightly rarer times when I look back and see some surprisingly quality, insightful content from my fourteen- or twenty-one-year-old self and I wonder, have I changed for the better? Or have I let myself stray off in a detrimental way? Have I lost a part of my style that was actually good and valuable? Should I go back to that previous style of writing and try to keep flowing in the same vein? Continue reading