Saturday, April 23, 2011

Male Irritation

You know...Finding good guys seems impossible sometimes.  Finding guys with good qualities isn't really as hard as you would think.  The problem is that almost every guy does things that are so irritating that it makes it nearly impossible to see past it.    So, this post is for you guys.  We know you don't mean to be annoying, so I'm giving you a few things that I hate the most, in hopes that you will try to analyze your actions and make sure you aren't doing any of the following.  I know 5 will never be enough, but I think we need to take it slow.  Ok.  Here it is:

The 5 Things I Hate Most About Guys!!

1. Guys who think they're hilarious!!

  This is for those guys who are basically full of themselves.  They talk non-stop about how great their sense of humor is, and how funny they are, and oh...the world would just break into pieces if it weren't for them cracking the funniest darn jokes all day long.  Yeah, that's right ladies.  You know what I'm talking about; they guy who always laughs harder at his own joke than anybody else does.  We love a sense of humor, but please...don't be arrogant.  (this goes for other things too, this one just happens to be a pet peeve of mine)

2. Touchy-Feely!

Yeah, I know you're just being nice, and in our generation of huggers (hug everybody hello, hug everybody goodbye. What happened to "hey guys!" with a wave???), it's considered the norm, and it's "excusable".  Well, it's not that I don't like being touched, it's just that I don't like it when guys assume they have the right to put their arm on my shoulder, or poke me, tickle me, hug me, squeeze my sides, grab my face, rub my back ETCETERA, ETCETERA!  If a girl goes for the hug, that's great.  Just don't assume we don't care.  It's insulting.

3. You think you're always right!

I firmly believe that guys are supposed to be the leaders in relationships, marriages especially.  They need to make the big decisions, and support their family.  As wives we need to submit to our husbands.  BUT guys need to be respectful of our opinions.  They need to at least hear us out.  If we have 2 different views on a subject, don't immediately shoot mine down.  Just give it some thought.  That's all I'm asking.


If you and I are both walking up to a door at the same time...DON'T YOU EVER, EVER NEVER EVER EVER open it, and walk through first.  Hold the door.  Honestly, it takes two seconds.  It's extremely rude to walk through first.  I'm not saying walk around to our side of the car and open it for us to get out (that would be nice, but not really required), just use some common courtesy. 

5. EWWW!!!

Alright, this is last, but absolutely not least.  USE SOME STINKING DEODORANT.  There's nothing better than a guy that smells nice, and nothing worse than a guy that smells bad.  If you have a problem, go get the prescription stuff.  End of story.

Just use your brain.  This stuff is pretty obvious, yet almost every guy I know does fails to meet at least 1 of these 5 requirements. 

P.S. It's really quite messed up when you have a girlfriend, and you STILL are touchy-feely with us.  It makes us feel extra awkward, too.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to add Amazon and Adsense accounts to your blog!

There are some really great ways to monetize your blog.

A few of them are  by adding Amazon and Adsense accounts.  Amazon is...well, Amazon.  The Amazon Associates program allows readers to buy a book you may be reviewing, or promoting.

An Adsense account allows Google to place advertisements on your blog based on the content of your posts.  There are a few ways to set it up, including pay-per-click, or pay per purchase.

How to add the Amazon Associates account:

First, go to the Amazon home page and scroll to the bottom.  Under the section titled, "Make Money With Us", there is a 'Join Associates' button.  Click that and it will take you to the Amazon Associates home page. 

Next, on the right hand side of that page you will see an area to log in.  You should see a button under that saying, "join now for FREE'.  Signing up is very simple.  Amazon will have you fill out a minimal amount of information.  After that they will take 1 to 3 business days to go over the information you provided about what kind of website you have and how you run it in order to approve you.

Then, you will select a payment method and boom!  You're signed up

Now, for the Adsense account.

If you have a blog on Blogger, it is very, very easy.

All you have to do is go to your Blogger homepage, and find the button that says 'Monetize' at the top.  Next, you will click "create Adsense Account".  Then you will again fill out some basic information to sign yourself up.  Google is very generous with their choices and variey of ways to input ads in your blog.  You can put them all different places depending on the look you want.

In order to do that you should go to your dashboard on Blogger and click the 'design' button.  From there you will click "add a gadget'.  once you find the Adsense gadget you go through the steps to place the advertisements.  Once you save your new changes, voila!  You're done, and you can start making money!

It's really simple and a great way to make money if you do it right.

Monday, April 11, 2011

That Time of Night

Yep.  It's that time night.  The time when everyone in the house is quiet, I'm home from my activities, and my mind is running rampant.

It's that small portion of time that's all mine.  It belongs to me, and I love taking the time to appreciate it.  This is the time when I think of all the facets of my life at once.  They come together to form a single, short moment of clarity.

I can see clearly.

There are many, so many, beautiful instants in life.  Like today, when I drove with the windows down for the first time this year, and I could see the sun bursting through the clouds. I could see the golden warmth streaming through the rolling clouds, some of which looked remarkably like fairytale castles to me.  That was a beautiful moment when I was reminded of all the good in my life. I was reminded that there is so much sunshine exploding into my life.  Even the clouds, which we sometimes choose to see as a bad thing, they have their purpose, and they are beautiful in their own way.

Anyway, there are always precious moments throughout the day, but this has to be my favorite.

I realized that at this moment in my life, I am at a jumping off point. I am at the base of my life right now.  This is the first time in my life when I realized that I have NO IDEA what comes next.  I've always had at least a vague idea of what was going to happen next.  Now...nothing.

What's ahead for me?  What adventures will I lay claim to?

Have you ever thought of that?  The thought that I have life before me.  I mean life.  It's so exciting.  There will be times when my heart is truly broken.  There will be times when I will laugh so hard I will cry and there will be epiphany moments, when I realize what my life is really about.  Or what Christ's life was all about, or something.  I will be around people. I will make new friends. I will lose some. I will, D.V., get married. Who will be with me?  What will the relationships I have now be like in 10 years?  I don't know.  And I'm so excited to find out.

But at the same time its frightening, and leaving me apprehensive.  I'm trying to form a plan for next year, but nothing's working out the way I want it to.  I'm so nervous.

Today I heard a song, that hit home.  I heard a song that made me say, "duh!"  The line that got my attention was: " Another wave of doubt, will it pull you under?  You wonder, what if I'm overtaken, what if I never make it?  What if no one's there?  Will you hear my prayer?  When You take that first step into the unknown, you know that He won't let you go.  So what are you waiting for?"

God's not letting me go.  Even if everyone else is leaving me on my own, to make these next decisions, God is always there, leading me every step of the way.  Even if I don't know what's coming next, God is showing me to my door of opportunity.  And even if I'm not 100% sure, and I take a step, maybe even a wrong step, or I do something crazy, it's not as though God's will abandon me for that.  He's still keeping me safe, and I know He always will.

So tonight, in my moment of clarity, I am resting peacefully.  Knowing that God, my Savior is protecting me in His hand, and will be with me as I take these first steps into the unknown.  Praise God from whom ALL blessings, including this moment of clarity and peace, flow freely.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I don't care what people think about me! .....Right?

I've heard it all my life: "Don't worry about what other people think."

It's also something I've always struggled with.  I suppose it's a weakness of mine.  I take things to heart far deeper than I should.

A Focus Problem.

It's so hard for me to focus on what God thinks of me, versus what my friends, family and teachers think of me.  Even people I don't know!  If I'm out at the store, or wherever, and someone I don't even know looks at me sideways I feel awful.  It's all of a sudden my goal to get out of that place as quickly as possible.  And it's ridiculous!  Why should I care if that stranger browsing the shoe section doesn't like me outfit?  Or my purse or my face or whatever!

Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense but that doesn't change the way I feel.  There are also times when my friends or family will half jokingly make a remark about my appearance, or something I've done or made, and I play it off as a joke, too.  I'm not about to let those people know that what they said actually makes me feel terrible.  The thing is I've become an expert at reading too far into things.  When someone is just joking I always remind myself that there's a little truth to every joke.

It's a matter on the inside.

Where most people can brush it off, or laugh about it with their friend, I can only pretend to do those things.  I   laugh about it, but when I go home, I either do everything in my power to fix what they've mentioned, or if it's something I can't change I become self conscious about it for the rest of my life.

I criticize myself so harshly before anyone else ever does that when it happens, it's like being hit with a baseball bat.  When someone points out a flaw of mine that I've picked at and worked on and blown up to be bigger than it really is, then I immediately think that the other person is thinking of me as badly as I am.  And then, why would they want to be around me?

It's stupid, it really is.  And I need to get over it.  The older I get, the better the problem gets.  I'm now at a point where I don't care what people I don't know think of me.  They've got their own problems to deal with, and I'll never see them again, so who cares?  Also, when friends that aren't really close to me say things, or look at me funny, I don't care then, either.  My huge problem now is when my family and closest friends say things to me, it makes me feel awful.  I want them to love me as much as I love them.  I want them to think of me as fondly as I think them, and if my 'talents' seem stupid to them or not good enough, then it crushes me.

Now, I realized this week that I am completely limiting myself. I will never be able to do anything great or worthwhile if I'm only trying to please everyone else.  My focus needs to be on God, and God only.  He loves me, and He's given me talents and characteristics that can be used for Him.

I was made for more than this!

I have goals for myself.  Goals that I've never uttered to another person.  Goals that only The Lord knows I have.  I never talk about them because I don't want people to think that they're silly.  I don't speak of them because they seem so far off, and intangible.  But the thing is, if I'm worried about what the people around me think, then they ARE intangible.  They ARE impossible.  The only way I can achieve these things is by doing what the Lord wants me to do, and let Him and His will lead me.  Anything is possible with God.

Now His plans might not be what my plans are.  He might have different goals for me than I have for myself, but one thing is certain:  If I follow Christ, and let him work in me, then He will bless me, and He will allow me to do something that I never could have dreamed of.  Only the Great I Am knows what's best for me.  And as  I keep Him at the center of my focus He will do the best thing for me no matter what.  Even if it seems 'bad' to the world's standards.

I was made for a greater purpose.  I was made for better things than the petty woes of this world.  All God's people are.  So it's time for me to stand up for myself.  Not so much on the outside, I already do that, but on the inside.  It's time for me to say, "I will take your views into consideration, but you will never be the deciding factor."

I believe this is something that so many, many people struggle with.  And it's heart breaking because we are quieting our voices instead of raising them for Christ.  I will raise my voice, I will raise my standards, and I will do great things with the power of The Lord in me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Millenium Soldier: Wearer of the Gold Book Review

Sci-fi? Ummmmm...not usually!

The past couple of weeks I've had the opportunity to read a sci-fi novel that a friend of mine wrote: Millennium Soldier: Wearer of the Gold by Voyle Glover.  I was excited to read something different (I'm not usually a sci-fi reader), yet skeptical, as I am with most books pre-read. 

I was pleasantly surprised.  Something I noticed right off the bat was that the book was beautifully descriptive.  I have a tendency to become bored by author's predictable, never-ending adjectives that seem to outnumber the nouns ten to one.  I end up skipping portions of books because I can get the right idea without having to suffer their inarticulate redundancy.  If you can't tell, it's a pet peeve of mine.  Anyway, I found that I didn't need to skip anything, and my attention never wavered in Millennium Soldier

What Makes It Good?

The author has an excellent capability to know "when to stop", so to speak.  The story line was also extremely intriguing.  Although sci-fi is supposed to be new, and contain uncommon ideas; things that are not truly possible, they can, like everything else, fall into a rut of sameness.  They can become predictable.  Not so with this one.  Glover formed a new, unheard of idea and spun it into an intricately designed narrative that will hold the attention of readers of all ages.

The story tells of a man named Cubal, a bred fighter, and tells of his battles (supposedly after his time of being a warrior) with Good and Evil.  Which side will he fight for?  Who will win him over?  What will Cubal decide?

I'm not going to spoil it for you. YOU need to get the book and find out for yourself.  Even if you're not typically a sci-fi reader (I'm not) this is something you will enjoy.  It's versatile, it's's just good.

Go get the book, read it, and let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Flow Of Writing

What is writing? 

For me, it's not picking up a pen and pencil and putting black ink on a paper.  It's not about the letters of the words, or the penmanship with which they're written.  It's not about the sound of the words once they're read or as they're being spattered out on a keyboard.  For me, it's all about the feel of the words. 

Sometimes, starting to write something is exceedingly difficult for me.  Whether it's an Economics paper, or a poem, or just any old thing I jot down.  Even starting to write on this blog, where I can say anything I want, can be painful almost.  But I do it anyway.  Because once I start, I'll usually get the words flowing.  And it's almost like the concious part of my mind goes to sleep.  I start feeling the words with my mind, and once my mind gets on track, there's no stopping it.  The words just come to me.  It's like I'm not thinking about what I'm saying.  I am, but I don't feel the burden of that thinking.  It's my subconcious moving my fingers on the keyboard and giving everything on this screen life.

There are many times when I'm by myself, just thinking of how I feel, or what needs to be done about a certain situation.  And I can't figure it out.  I can't explain how I feel, even to myself! I can't put my thoughts or feelings into words.  But as I sit at the computer, and I start getting a rythym out, all of a sudden I'll be typing as fast as I'm thinking and letting my fingers do all the work; and FINALLY I'll look at the screen and realize that my brain has put my feelings into words for me.  Sometimes it's the only way I can figure anything out.

Most of the time my writing is done on the notepad accessory.  Just a blank screen.  I beat out the first few sentences or paragraphs and then let myself go.   And it's beautifully therapeutic.  There's nothing like it.  There's also nothing like "waking up" or, "snapping out of it"  and realizing that you have a good page of comprehendible, words; that I have one, completed thought sitting there on my screen.  And I'll read it, and think, "Oh!  I wish I had realized this before".

Now, one thing's for certain: Not everyone is a writer.  Some just aren't meant for it.  But  I gotta say, for those of you who say you don't like writing, or it's just too hard.  Give it a shot.  Everyone needs to give it a shot at least a couple times.  Even when it seems  impossible, and you have no idea where you're going with your first paragraphs, just keep kneading the dough, and eventually, your mind might catch on, and before you know it you could be writing some great things that you had no idea you were capable of. 

If you're a writer, you might not even know it.  However, if you are, the satisfaction of writing is worth the trouble a thousand times over.  I'm addicted to it. 

So...What are you waiting for?  Give it a try!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hard Decisions

We all have to make some tough decisions in our life.  Kids and adults, ages 5-100 have to decide what the right thing is, and then decide whether or not to do the right thing.  While the individual decisions vary, the inward conflict doesn't.  A five year old might struggle with, "Should I take the cookie, even though Mom told me not to?"  just as much as an adult might struggle with "Should I tell my boss that it's really my fault we lost our client?"

You see, even though the latter example could have far worse consequences than the first example, the inward struggle is the same.   And while the above situations are matters of integrity there is a myriad of other things that people have to deal with.  I recently talked with a friend of mine who was head over heels in love with his girlfriend.  He wanted to marry her, but he saw that she was becoming an idol in his life and taking up more space in his heart and mind than God was.  He saw that she was becoming a barrier between him and the Lord, and he knew he needed to change.  Even though (we'll call him Tim) Tim couldn't stand the thought of being apart from "Sarah", and he didn't know how Sarah would respond, he told her that he needed to take a break, step back and get his priorities and focus in line. 

It was the hardest thing he ever had to do, but it was the right thing. 

I deal with tough decisions all the time, and it can make me weary if I don't have the right mindset.  Lots of times I try to do everything myself.  I try to be strong, and take a stand on my own.  And every time that happens, I FAIL.  Miserably.  The truth is that no one can do the right thing without Christ's help, and as soon as I let my focus slip away from God, I find myself drowning in a sea of pride. 

It's only when I give my struggles to God; cast my cares upon Him, and cling to Him for dear life that I find the strength to rise against the pressures and temptations of my human, deceitful heart.

Lately I've been stupid.  I've been living in sin, and then feeling guilty, and thinking, "Well I can't turn to God now, when I'm sinning so badly.  How can he accept me like this?  No, I'll get back on my feet, start doing the right thing, and then ask God to forgive me, and renew my spirit."  But it doesn't work like that!  One of the many, beautiful things about God is that He takes us in when we are in the pits of sin, and wretchedness.  He is the only one who can help us back to our feet in the first place.

My prayer is, "Lord, give me the strength and courage to do the right thing even when I'm terrified of the results."

Because right now I am.  I'm terrified of the pain and hardship that can accompany making the right decision, even though I know that I will have Christ Jesus to protect me, and keep me safe, and hold me in his hand.  God's love and protection are infinitely more powerful than any pain or hard times that this world can use to try and hold us prisoner.

So, today I am looking to the Lord, and asking Him to give me His strength that I might stand firm against all my idols, temptations and fears. 

I pray that you will join me in this rebellion against fear and sin; against this world in which we live.  The only comfort and hope that we have is that we are not our own, but belong body and soul to our faithful savior, Jesus Christ.