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8 Things I Wish my 16-year Old Self Knew


Delighted for this profound billet-doux! My kindred spirit inspires me too — A LoT! May you be blessed as you ponder on this open letter on a wish to time travel. 😀

Wanderful Joyce

Note: This letter is addressed to my younger self so it does not necessarily apply to every 16 year old who’s also figuring out what to do with their lives.rose

Dear 16-year old ME,

Graduating from high school felt great didn’t it? And now you think you are so ready for college! You think you’ve got this- sign up for a course, attend class regularly, get good grades and graduate. You think that as long as you stay focused and be single-minded in achieving that diploma then everything’s going to be okay. You think you’ve been dreaming about this all your life- get into college so you can start on that life you’ve always dreamed about.

And then in your determination to prove yourself to everybody, you forgot to look deep inside you and ask the questions that matter most. You were so focused on being that person everybody thought you should and could be that you forgot to…

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God’s gender: a cautionary tale


And I WONDER! 🙂

... because God is love

Is God a man?

Is God a woman?

Does it really matter?

These and similar questions seem to be doing the rounds again, on social media and elsewhere. My answers, in brief, would be “No”, “No”, and “Yes, very much.”

Why does it matter so much? Why does it matter what language we use about God, what pronouns and names and titles we use to address and describe God?

Let me tell you a story.

You know those arguments children have which go “boys are better than girls”, “no, girls are better than boys”, “no, boys are better than girls”, on and on and on? They’re especially annoying on long car journeys or in waiting rooms.

A while back, two of the children I work with, then aged about 5, were having just such an argument. I wan’t paying much attention, just keeping half an eye on things in case…

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Short and Sweet Advice For Writers – Have a Point (plus WIIFM)


I strongly concur! 😀

Wordsmith mode on!

Live to Write - Write to Live

hand drawn mind mapIf you want your writing to be effective, you need to have a point: a purpose, something specific you’re trying to say, a “Why” behind the writing. This rule applies no matter what you’re crafting – novel, short story, poem, personal essay, op-ed, sales page, website, flash fiction, screenplay. Having a point is what stokes your creative fire, and it’s what gives you the ability to write something that will make people care.

I have written in the past about the magic of clarity:

Clarity brings focus and purpose to your writing. It illuminates the ultimate reason you’re driven to write a thing and it helps you make critical decisions about what to include and what to leave out. Clarity is like a pair of enchanted glasses that filters out everything extraneous so you can hone in on exactly the things you need to tell your story. When you have clarity…

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Hair and boobs


This intuitive musing gave a boost! There are a lot of uncertainties, and sometimes, I focus on my worries. I forget to smell the flower, to gaze the shimmering clouds, and listen to the chirping birds. But I’ve learned to pause and ponder on the beauty of existence, life has a lot to offer; although sometimes things seem to fall apart, and the morning glory turns to horror — hearing a sad, sad news about my relatives’ misfortune.

But I opt to be positive and utter a prayer that my relatives who lost all their possession to ashes due to a possible arson in Boracay Island recently would recover soon. And your article really made a difference. I have more than my hair and boobs to be grateful of. 🙂

Zsofi Writes

On the morning of my 39th birthday, I was grateful for two things: my hair and my boobs.

There were other things too, of course – the way Sam buried his little face in my hair at 5:30 in the morning. The way he and Drew planned how to surprise me with breakfast and cake and presents.

But my hair and boobs were on my mind the most because in the week leading up to my birthday, one friend had to shave her head and another friend found out she might be losing her breasts.

I sort of hate to feel gratitude like this—it seems like such a selfish feeling. Like by being grateful I am saying that I am grateful that YOU have this horrible disease and not me. I am grateful that I have my hair, but too bad about yours. That’s clearly not what I want to…

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Meet Anne: A Slap-In-The-Face Interview With a Child of Surrogacy


I really don’t know what to say…kinda speechless.

Will get back once I gather my thoughts. 😀

jerry-mahoney.com

Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the first ever WordPress-sponsored Press Publish conference in Portland, Oregon. While I was there, I met tons of awesome people, but the one who probably sticks out the most to me was a young woman named Anne who spoke to me after my presentation. She wanted me to know that she was born through surrogacy herself. She was curious to meet my kids, because she’d never met anyone else who was born through surrogacy.

Anne Anne

She was a wonderful person — smart, polite, down-to-Earth, and we had a very nice chat. I promised to put her in touch with some people who might be able to help her find other people her age born through surrogacy, and she gave me her card.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about her, because I often wonder how my kids will feel…

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I Have a Vested Interest


I have a vested interest in this post! 😀

What a superb introspection!

Tenure, She Wrote

In the fourth grade, I was obsessed with marine science and sonar technology, and I’d spend Saturday afternoons watching The Hunt for Red October instead of Saved by the Bell. That summer, I toured a Navy sub in dry dock– my first time! — and I asked the officer leading the tour when we’d be going to the sonar room. “Sorry, kid. It’s classified,” he said. Masking my disappointment, I replied that it was okay, because I was going to be a sonar technician when I grew up, and I could wait until then. “But they don’t let girls on subs,” was the officer’s surprised reply, as he looked at me as if I’d sprouted horns. When I asked why not, he told me I wouldn’t want to be stuck on a sub with a bunch of smelly guys anyway. My “Then…why aren’t there submarines for just girls?” got no reply.

So, I have a vested…

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Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today


This post’s title is synonymous to my aim. 😀

This is a musing worth reading! Gave me an upbeat! 😀

“Live with hope and live with love, if only for your surroundings. Find somewhere you love. See as much as you can before it’s too late.”

Ramblings of a College Introvert

We’re responsive creatures, always yearning for some kind of carnal or spiritual fulfillment. So many of our conversations are dedicated to that one question: What makes us feel alive? For me it’s neither people nor adventures. It’s the shapes and colors that make up a city I love.

When I took a semester off in Cali, all I could think about was how much I missed NYC and how exciting it would be to blog about college life there. But four months after I returned to NYU I’ve only written four posts on my adventures here in the Big Apple. Ostensibly it’s because I just haven’t had the time. In reality it’s because I’ve kind of lost confidence in my writing. I don’t think I’ll ever be as good a writer as I would like to be, and I certainly don’t think I’m good enough to capture the sense of wonder I feel every time…

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How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?


My emotional intelligence has been thriving, I just realized after I read this. HAHA! 🙂

Thanks a lot for this. I find it helpful to evaluate my state of mind and emotions. I’m healthy still, but yeah, thriving! 🙂

How about you?

Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

HSDcoverLast week Bud Harris, a Jungian analyst and author, posted a review of Healing the Sacred Divide on Amazon. In it he noted, “I have recommended this book to many people particularly for its sections on Emotional Integrity and Cultivating Emotional Intelligence.” Others have told me how much that part of the book means to them too, so I’d like to share a bit of it here.

Most of us believe we’re in touch with our emotions if we feel the basic ones like love, anger, fear, happiness, and sadness.  But it is possible to feel and recognize some emotions and not others.  Moreover, knowing you’re feeling an emotion doesn’t necessarily translate into the ability to contain it or use it wisely.  Consider the following symptoms of emotional ignorance.  Which of these have you experienced?

 25 Common Symptoms of Emotional Ignorance

1.  Feeling angry, happy, sad, anxious, afraid…

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If You Aren’t Feeling Friction, You Aren’t Moving Forward


“If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.” We overcome the mountains in our lives by fighting our way onward and upward, not by floating downstream.

I couldn’t agree more! A timely message that inspired and moved me. 🙂

Seth Adam Smith

Some time ago, I had a conversation with an artist whom I deeply admire. She had received some criticism for a painting that “lacked historical accuracy.” Her critics then used this as an opportunity to attack her personally, calling her just about every name in the book.

When I asked her about it and how that made her feel, I was surprised by her response. She acknowledged her need to improve her art, but quickly added: “You know, I learned a long time ago that if you aren’t feeling friction, you aren’t moving forward.”

Moving toward the mountains. Moving toward the mountains.

In the time since then, I’ve thought a lot about that simple sentence. And the more I think about it, the more I’ve come to understand just how true it is. If we are moving forward, we will feel friction. In fact, we should be concerned if we’re not feeling friction. Henry B. Eyring wrote that “If…

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Promise Neither to Make or Break a Promise


Promises were ropes of sands for me, then.

They were made with thrilling anticipation. Failed expectations led to failed relationships, broken friendships.

Promises were ropes of sands for me, then.

I made them. I broke them. Either intentionally or unintentionally, breaking a promise leaves consequences of various kinds. Oftentimes, negative outcome abounds.

Evaluating and re-evaluating my personal relationship with God, especially today, made me realize that I made a lot of promises. Whether small and petty promises, they’re not supposed to be made just to be messed up; like the cliche, “Promises are not made to be broken.” But it’s really a big deal to break a promise or covenant with the Lord. I have shortcomings everyday.

Not so Petty Promises

I made a short list amidst the mundane things that I could make promises with myself.

  • Daily Devotional – consistent quality time with the Lord despite super hectic schedule.
  • Regular Running – whether there’s race or not, I should run at least thrice a week.
  • Season of Spiritual Refreshing – not just pause or pose for prayer, but fervent prayer.
  • Connect or communicate with loved ones.
  • Small time spent on social media.
  • Blog at least four times a week. Blog everyday if possible. Make it happen.
  • Don’t gossip or talk cheap.
  • Don’t lie.

I can list down more, but I guess it isn’t necessary. My point is to emphasize, that whether spiritual or not, I should shun making promises. I should have the goals set, and achieve them through God’s grace.

The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous one. Day by day God labors for man’s ‪‎sanctification‬, and man is to cooperate with Him, putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation‬ of right habits‬. He is to add grace to grace; and as he thus works on the plan of addition, God‬ works for him on the plan of multiplication.” ~ Ellen G. White, My Life Today, p.106

Pinky Promise

This morning, I browsed a blog which surprised me! There’s a community of Christians who are making commitment with the Lord for chastity and purity of heart! Check it out: http://www.pinkypromisemovement.com/

It's not about petty promises, but fervent promise with the ONE who never fails with His promises.

It’s not about petty promises, but fervent promise with the ONE who never fails with His promises.

In our modern and media-manipulated world today, it’s still rare to find men and women who opt to commit themselves to God in this area. Most often, they are stereotyped as weirdos and wannabes. But who knows the motive of the heart? Who is just to judge?

I don’t judge people who’ve given away their virginity or people who chose different path in life. I don’t wanna brag about my covenant for purity, but physical purity isn’t enough. It should be deep, purity of heart can only be achieved through the merits of the RIGHTEOUS ONE.

So, after browsing the blog, I read again and again the manifesto:

A promise to honor God with your body and your life. To refuse to give your body to anyone that hasn’t paid the price for you called marriage. It’s a promise to stay pure before God in EVERY single way. It’s a promise that says, I won’t test the boundaries in my relationship to see how far I can push it sexually–but instead–I want God to have my heart.
 
It’s a promise to God that you will honor your marriage covenant. It’s saying that I promise not to step outside of my marriage, cheat on my spouse and that I’ll work through every issue.
I really appreciate the noble cause of Heather Lindsey, who created the blog and initiated the community to help each other through motivation. But I haven’t joined yet. I actually made my own pinky promise to God several years ago. And that’s what I want to keep, together with the other promises I listed. I shouldn’t consider them promises, for I didn’t make them just to break them.
"Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Ps. 37:4

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:4

"What you've become while waiting is more important than what you're waiting for." ~Nicole Parker

“What you’ve become while waiting is more important than what you’re waiting for.” ~Nicole Parker

What are the promises you made that you’ve broken? Are there areas in your life or habits that are needed to be changed, not only modified? Let’s discuss about them, and perhaps pray for them, if that is called for.
Here are my favorite songs. I used to sing “I Promise” at weddings. I will sing “Promise Me Forever” is a friend’s wedding soon. Actually, they are my waiting and promise songs.
© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Rockin’ Photographers www.rockinphotographers.com. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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