It’s been said that writer’s block is nothing but a time when our imaginary friends won’t talk to us. As writers we get frustrated because once we finally settle down, are able to shut down social media, and we are in the middle of a promising good scene; then poof, words just go away.
We tend to forget that our imaginary friends can get tired, hungry, and bored just like us. I understand and have experienced that their timing tends to be very inopportune, but since we need them, just like with babies, you have to adjust to their schedule.
When I’m on a roll with my writing and my muse just stops, I have to check to find out what my imaginary friends need so that I can get them talking again. Sometimes when I lay down for a nap, the funniest thing happens. They go from being absolutely mute to arguing amongst themselves about how the plot should go. At that point I tell them to shut up. If they weren’t willing to talk to me when I was in front of the computer, this is not the time to talk. So they finally calm down. Sometimes they seep into my dreams showing me whatever conclusion they came up with during their argument.
Other times we both need food. The “glamorous” life of a writer comes with long work hours and ironically we sometimes forget to eat. I had not discovered this particular need of my imaginary friends, until recently. I used to keep a plate with junk food right next to me during my writing times. However, now that I’m trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and making sure I eat what my body needs and not just what it wants. I don’t keep anything at my desk, other than water. I’ve discovered that sometimes when my imaginary friends stop it’s to get me off of the computer and get me to eat.
The other thing that I’ve discovered that helps me sometimes, is to take a walk. My dog particularly appreciates when my imaginary friends coincide with the fact that she has been laying at my feet for hours without relief. Yes, your muse (our imaginary friends) gets bored too and sometimes a walk can help. I’ve read that for some people working out does the trick. I guess that depends on your physical condition. While I try not to pass out at my Zumba class, it’s very hard for me to think of anything other than not dying. However taking a walk through the neighborhood, looking at the trees, and watching other people interact can help entertain them and when we get back they feel more incline to start talking again.
So when your muse aka your polka dot people (don’t judge, not all little talking people are green or pink) try to see what they need and they may start cooperating again.
If you want to read a different type of novel that will keep you at the edge of your seat. See the story that God placed in my heart to share, a story that will definitely touch your heart: The Road Home
- What do you do when your imaginary friends won’t talk to you? (redheadcarol.wordpress.com)
I observed a man this morning in a suit trying to push a wagon of boxes. He was truly struggling to balance the load and pushing the cart. The boxes were empty by the way. It reminded me that the things we do, do not define who we are.
People have the tendency to place certain professions, jobs, tasks or qualities in a pedestal. The body has many members, and all of them have different functions, but none of them are less than the other. Look at your hand for a minute, if you lost one finger, any of them, you would miss it terribly and you would have to make major adjustments to go back to “normal function”. The same is with the way we are as a collective, everyone has a function to do and nobody is better or worse for the position they have been placed.
I used to work with a brilliant doctor. It was a delight to hear this man speak, full of knowledge and wisdom, but totally technologically challenged. He couldn’t operate his computer or his cell phone. If some of us in the office didn’t pull out his e-mails and voicemails, he would not be in the loop of the things that needed to be done. That didn’t make him less or didn’t make us more. We had different skills and functions to complete.
I also remember being a manager. I’m a pretty gadget and technically savvy person, but for some reason the fax machine at that office and I did not get along (anyone remembers the movie Office Space, yes that was my relationship with the fax machine). I tried to not bother others and do my own thing. When I would disappear for a while and my assistant knew that I was not in a meeting, she usually checked the copy room and there I was fighting the fax machine. She would take the papers from my hands and get the job done in fifteen seconds.
My dad used to say, someone needs to sell hot dogs on the corner of the street otherwise I wouldn’t have a place to buy it, and someone needs to pick up the garbage, otherwise it would pile up in our house.
So no matter what you’re doing today, don’t look at it with the eyes of the world that classifies tasks as better or worse. Look at your job as a gift from God to render a service that in the large scheme of things it’s just as important as the next one to keep things working the way they should.
indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
As God’s children we should aspire for the best as we are the children of The King. With this I’m not talking about our expectations for others, but for our own selves. The media is filled with images that define beauty for us, and in my quest for meaning I decided to research the world view and God’s view on beauty.
When talking about the beauty in terms of human attraction these tend to be defined by gender. Women are beautiful; men are handsome. What does that really mean?
I usually start with my friend Webster who says that beauty is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest). It’s an individually pleasing or has beautiful quality; grace; charm.
Reading this also entails that beauty is very subjective. Something pleasing to my eyes is totally disgusting to the person next to me. Therefore beauty will depend on our personal experiences, our culture and our personal taste. Not much for an objective definition.
Of course I went to the Word of God and this is what I found:
- Proverbs 31:30(NIV)”Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” This one I found particularly interesting because Webster said that charm was part of beauty, but the word of God tells us that charm is fleeting.
- 1 Peter 3:3-5 (NIV) “such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.”
So according to the Word, in reality being beautiful has nothing to do with how we look, but who we are. I think this definition can transcend cultures, tastes and personal experiences. I could even dare to say that it doesn’t divide even by gender as a man can have a gentle and quiet spirit as well.
Now for the gentlemen, this was Webster’s definition of handsome: having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking; having pleasing proportions, relationships, exhibiting skill, taste, and refinement.
Once again it focuses on the outer appearance and the subjectivity of what is perceived by it, but in this case it goes further talking about skills, which is something that I think I never thought was included in this definition.
I found in Daniel 1:4 the following message, “young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace” The bible doesn’t deter much from Webster in this definition, it talks about no physical defect, which I’m sure is not talking about lack of flaws, but about a healthy body; but adds something to it, which is knowledge and the ability to learn. So for a man to be attractive, the six packs may be as equally important as the knowledge he presents, if not more.
The irony for me was that doing this research I found pictures that do not conform to our Hollywood mentality of beauty, which reinforces the notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, I did find pictures of Brad Pitt in the midst of it and of Julia Roberts, but I found pictures that defined beauty that are unusual for our traditional mindset. Here I share some:
So here’s the bottom line:
- Are you woman, being defined by the world’s definition of beauty or are you beautifying your spirit with the Word of God? Also, are you looking at men within the God’s definition of beauty?
- Are you man, being defined by the world’s physical view of handsome? Or are you being teachable and in the search for the true knowledge? Also, are you looking at women within the definition of beauty that God has set for you?
Food for thought,
Look at the picture above. It is one of our favorite mental pictures. It is very easy for us to assign responsibility to others when things go wrong, but do we think what our part in the process was? If we look at the hand, there’s one finger pointing outward and three inward. If you’re doing the pointing there are three fingers pointing at you.
Some things are out of our control in life; I’m not negating that…but it’s not as many as we tend to think.
Have you heard yourself say things like: this person makes me feel (angry, upset, irritable) or made me (eat, scream, nag, throw something)…unless the person has a weapon and threatening your safety. Was is truly this person’s fault or did you allow yourself into the behavior or emotion? We also blame the circumstances around our lives. Most time we created those circumstances as well.
Sometimes we forget to take accountability for our own actions because it’s easier to blame others or the circumstances. The denial of our responsibility falsely releases us from having to address it or work on fixing it. By placing the responsibility outside of us, we convince ourselves that the answer is out of our hands, not realizing that is inside that fist, hidden behind those three fingers that are pointing at us.
Stepping out of that denial is not an easy thing. It makes us see ourselves for who we really are. It also finally addresses the issue that we need to work on, that’s true freedom!
So I just invite you to stop and think; every time there’s a situation in your life and you are ready to blame someone else; ask yourself, what part did you play for things to happen?
Did you enjoy this post? This is one of the lessons included in my book Growth Lessons , get your copy today! Do you already have the ebook and want my autograph…submit your request on kindlegraph and i’ll be honored to process it.
I was reading an article on the magazine “In Touch” the other day. They will have to forgive me because I don’t remember the specific author or the edition of the magazine that I read. The article was talking about how as believers we tend to have unrealistic expectations of what our emotions should be in determined situations. I think the saddest part about it, is that we permeate this culture of unrealistic expectations when we attempt to provide support to someone in distress.
I’m guilty of telling someone one that they are not trusting God on a situation, because they are exhibiting anxiety or distress and I know I’m wrong for that. I also know that I’ve accused myself of not being submitted enough to God for experiencing things like: fear, anger, sadness, anxiety.
There’s this wrong perception that if you’re a believer everything in your life has to be going absolutely perfect. We forget to read that part of the Bible that says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Who can forget the scene where Jesus kicked everyone out of the temple? He was angry. The Word says, “be angry but do not sin”…it doesn’t say you’re not allowed to be angry.
Where do we even get these ideas that because we believe we’re going to be walking in clouds, our children will be perfect, and our relationships will be perfect? Yes, we have deceived ourselves.
The interesting thing that we missed, that was addressed in the article was that we are made as God’s image; this means every emotion that we have, he has and made for us. It’s what we do with our emotions that could either edify us or destroy us. If we use our emotions and turn them into prayers, instead of complaints, and remember that the test is only the beginning of the testimony; we would see our life with different eyes.
I had a situation this week, where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. At the end of the day, I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. I kept praying God’s peace. I surrounded myself with my accountability support people. I finally came to the conclusion that this was the test becoming a testimony. The testimony is that every single thing that looked impossible on Monday was resolved without my intervention and in ways that only God could have shown himself. The fact that I cried and was frustrated doesn’t mean that I didn’t know that God had it in his hand and was going to deal with it. I didn’t’ doubt it for a minute. I just had a bulk of emotions; I recognized them as such and treated them as such.
Sometimes we lose focus that not only the lost souls struggles, but our fellow believers have struggles too, and how can we be of help when instead of mercy, we hand out judgment.
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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a cause very dear to my heart and once again I want to collaborate by bringing awareness to this illness in our society.
When most people think about domestic abuse they think of broken bones, black eyes and dishevel appearance. Usually the abuse is thought of as from a man to a woman. Although this stereotype is true, there’s a silent, sometimes subtle kind of abuse that goes on in many households undetected, that’s emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is usually defined by instances where one spouse or partner belittlers, yells, name calls and is offensive towards the other spouse or partner. Some victims believe they are not being abused because they engage in the cycle by responding to the attacks. I found this interesting article on emotional abuse that if you think you are in an abusive relationship you should read. It gives you the right questions to ask yourself to determine if you are in an emotional abusive relationship.
I’ve talked to Christian women in domestic violence situations that do not believe they are in an abusive relationship because there are no bruises on their bodies. They also quote scriptures about the wife being the role model to Christ for their husband. Yes, that can happen, if the man wants to be lead by Christ and not his emotions. When a man becomes abusive, he has become his own god, why would he need the real ONE?
I have been presented with this scripture in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 ESV “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, (this particular portion makes a lot of women in abusive relations justify their acceptance to abusive situations, but like my pastor would say keep reading) and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? (Yes, as Christians we are to model Christ not only to our spouses but to everyone, but we are not the saviors, Jesus is. Only the spouses willingness to accept Christ and his lordship will save and change him) how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? “
God has a particular plan for your life, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11 ”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. See those plans are specific for YOU and they are not to harm you. If God Almighty doesn’t want to harm you, do you think he wants you to be harm by your spouse? Read in the above scripture where it says, “God has called you to peace” Is that relationship bringing you peace?
I’m not advocating for any particular decision or solution, what to do is something you should decide with God in prayer. All I’m saying is that we need to look deeper into the Word and will of God for our lives. Slavery doesn’t come from God. There are options to stop the abuse. You need to recognize your value as a child of God, to know that you are loved, precious and accepted. That tolerating abuse is not the answer as it tells the abuser that is ok.
Please be safe
- Emotional Abuse Test (mademan.com)
Sometimes we confuse freedom with debauchery. We tell ourselves and others that we have the right to do as we please and as we want. The truth is that our Creator gave use freedom of choice, therefore in theory it is true, but when we exercise that freedom, do we do it in a way that is beneficial to us, or we do the first thing that feels good?
For the enemies of freedom, taking control and restraint is not the way to go. The consensus on that side is that there is no happiness in self-control and discipline, but in hindsight the lack of these usually brings us devastating consequences. Let’s just look at some brief examples of how these things can affect our lives.
I should be the last one to talk about this subject as I love to eat. Why do we have places that promote all you can eat? To survive we should not eat all we can eat. We can exercise the freedom of taking care of our bodies and eat healthy with using judgment into when and how much of little unhealthy things we consume. The reality is that not exercising self-control and discipline brings obesity, diseases and shortens our lifespan. If we shorten our lives we will miss on the blessings laid out for us, but also we would be in disobedience of fulfilling God’s purposes in our lives.
Have you ever heard someone say, I have the right to sleep with whomever I desire? Others say that they need to try until they find someone compatible in that area. Others excuse themselves because their marriages are not satisfying. Our creator calls us to purity in our intimate relations. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12” What some of those people forget is that our neighbor is our brother or sister and that we are to respect and see about them like if they were our family members. What comes out of promiscuity? Disease, emotional damage. This information is not only spiritually based. Read this scientific article on the consequences of promiscuity http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/she/she_29promiscuity.html
Drugs (legal or illegal)
Yes, there are legal drugs. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and prescription medications are some of the things that are at he reach of anyone, including believers. Illegal drugs have the society connotation of them not being allowed. How about those legal substances? Have you thought if you are a user or abuser of these substances? What are they doing in your life? Are you trying to not face some part of your life? ”Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” 1Corinthians 6:19 NIV
After a difficult day of work, we get to our homes and want to block our worlds out. All of the sudden we get consumed by mindless entertainment like our computers, television, and music; before we realize it we’re too tired to talk to God. He who gave us the 24 hours we just spent and the possibility to wake up the next day doesn’t get from us even praise. We usually say we don’t have time to do lots of things like exercise, volunteer, help others. Do you a favor? Just for this week, write down in a piece of paper the hours that you spend in front of the computer, video games or the television. Think how many nights you have deprived yourself from rest just to feed your flesh with enjoyment.
Remember that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 6:12). Let’s use our freedom wisely and follow the teachings of our Lord so that we can enjoy the benefits of the real good life. We have the option and the freedom to say NO to a life of sin and devastation.
It must be the writer in me. Sometimes the weirdest things just pop into my head. I decided to do an internet search thinking, “nah, nobody has thought of this, it’s ridiculous” and it never fails; I find some information on it and it just blows my mind.
So I’m writing a romantic scene where the man says the phrase, “ Oh I would give you the moon” and my mind keeps running, if someone was “serious” about getting the moon what would they have to do? Do they need to buy the space program? I was joking, but decided to research who owns the moon and found out that since 2008 that has been topic of legal dispute. Really?
Apparently there’s a man in the U.K. that claimed property rights to the moon and has been selling acres of it for $40 an acre. Pretty cheap if you ask me. Of course then I think, what would I even do with it? It’s not like I can build a house and live there. Well, this man has sold 500 million acres. It really blows my mind that men want ownership over creation. It’s obvious that pride is one of those things that always keeps us thinking that we have rights to what is not ours to begin with.
And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
I found this song to the moon and thought it was fitting. Enjoy creation, we are stewards (and not too good ones) not owners. Be blessed!
Today I watched this movie with Adam Sandler. I like his movies as he tends to be funny; however this movie is far from funny. This is the story of two men with very unhappy lives for different reasons. One, Adam Sandler’s character has turned to total isolation and denial after losing his whole family during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The other character played by Don Cheadle is a man who has a career, a family but it’s unhappy because he had lost his identity.
The thing that captured my attention about this movie was a scene where Charlie (Adam Sandler) is talking to a counselor and she tells him that until he tells his story nothing is going to change. He decides to open up, not to the counselor, but to his friend and although things got rough for a minute, that was the turning point of things getting better.
It made me think how many times out of shame and guilt we don’t talk about those dark areas in our lives. We’re afraid of being judged and think that some things are better unsaid. I don’t advocate for telling everything to just anybody, but we should always have someone in our lives who is safe for us to share our pain.
Sometimes we think that we should just tell God and things are going to go away, but God says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”(James 5:16) So the plan was all along to bring the light into our darkness by sharing our pain…that’s the path to healing.
Food for thought
PS. Watch the movie, it has some language, but not to the extreme. It’s a very moving story.
Some feelings can be lights in a dashboard alerting us of a need that needs satisfying. The way we deal with them could determine our behaviors and finally our outcomes. There’s an acronym that I learned, not mastered yet but working on it. H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. Just like the word halt, when any of these are present you need to stop, assess and respond to the appropriate need to avoid these feelings from affecting your mood and your surroundings. These feelings can distort your reality, affect your perception and potentially drive you to actions that otherwise you would not have taken and that could be regrettable.
Issue: My mother says that my father was a very pleasant person unless he was hungry, I have excused myself saying that it’s an inherited trait. That’s an honest copout. If you’re hungry, instead of being grumpy…eat! Hunger can cause our mood to change. Our blood sugar gets low and the body is sending a signal to the brain that it needs something. Hunger is merely a red light going off on your dashboard requesting your attention that something needs to be done.
Physical hunger is not the only one that can affect us. Spiritual hunger is just as detrimental. When our spirit is hungry from the word of God, we lack wisdom and connection with the Holy Spirit to make the right decisions for our lives. In John 6:35 Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”
Suggestion: Eat! I know it sounds simple, but sometimes we’re so caught into meetings or errands that we forget to eat before we know it we’re starving. It is good to always have something available, like a fruit, a trail mix packet or a nutritional bar. At least it will get you through until you can actually have a meal.
On the spiritual side, start feeding yourself with the Word of God. Sometimes you don’t know where to start with some worship music, its usually the quickest way to get your mindset connected to then dive into prayer and bible study. “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’(Luke 4:4)
Issue:This one is simple to relate how it can affect our mood. Something makes us angry and we do, say things we later regret. Anger is a powerful emotion that we need to learn to identify and channel appropriately. Remember when we are angry, the emotion is not affecting anyone else but us. Consider Job 18:4 “You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, is the earth to be abandoned for your sake? Or must the rocks be moved from their place?” It doesn’t mean ignore your anger, but do consider the times that you are making mountain out of molehills. Are you really angry because of what happened or is there a deeper issue?
Everyone expresses their anger in a different way, but ignoring the irritant or not handling the situation is never the answer.
Suggestion: For some people it’s a timeout. Removing yourself from the situation can help you calm and think things rationally. For some people they need to talk things out. Having an accountability person in your life that can listen without interruptions, but that can give you some wise insight once you’ve vented can be a good source to work through these feelings. For others writing your feelings down allows you the opportunity to see things in perspective. Process your anger before acting on it. “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil” Psalm 37:8
Issue:The feeling of loneliness can drive us to unwise decisions. For people with addictions it can be a trigger back to their vices. The problem is that when people think of addictions they only think of substance abuse and there are way many addictions out there untreated due to this misconception. Any behavior that affects your appropriate functioning and that is having harmful consequences is a potential addiction. The so called shopping therapy, reading books for hours on end trying to hide from the world, overeating, excessive use of the internet, television, pornography, video games, unhealthy relationships (and I’m not just saying couple relationships, even some friendships can be part of an addictive relationship); these are just some example of thing that we can engage due to loneliness that will end up.
Suggestion: Keep accountability, having someone in your life that knows that you are struggling with these issues can help you sort your feelings before you act on them. Having healthy relationships can help you feel less alone.God never intended for us to do life alone. Life, although very individual, its still a group effort. “You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.”Exodus 18:18 Filling your life with the Word of God will fill the emptiness that you may be feeling. Last but not least is service. When you feel alone you are focusing on yourself, executing acts of service not only can give you a sense of purpose, but can expose you to many fulfilling experiences.
Issue:This is another feeling that I consider to be a red light in your dashboard. Especially in our current lifestyle where we believe to be supermen and superwomen without capes, we can be under the impression and the pressure of all these life demands that can be exhausting. The reality is that being tired affects the way we process information and can cause us to make mistakes and erroneous decisions. Out of exhaustion you can give in into that thing, talking to a person or attending a place that you know its not the best for you and that could have negative results in your life.
These emotions are born in us. If you look at babies, aren’t those the reasons why they cry? Think about it, hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Abraham Maslow developed a theory in psychology based or human hierarchy of needs. His long theory can be summarized by saying that unless you meet your basic needs you can’t achieve higher levels and execute appropriately other functions.
Suggestion: Rest! You need to be honest with yourself, assess your priorities. Yes there are dishes to clean and clothes to fold, but if you’re tired you are good to nobody including yourself. Naps are an option. Look at your load and delegate or find creative ways to make your life easier. Flush the superman/woman down the drain right now, its not doing anybody any good. Those around you will enjoy you better with paper plates than screaming because of the load of dishes. Finally enjoy the refreshing rest that only He can give, by spending some time with your Savior. “The LORD replied, My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”Exodus 33:14