The Silence of My Imaginary Friends

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 The Road Home Cover (1)your seat. See the story that God placed in my heart to share, a story that will definitely touch your heart: The Road Home

No Small Job

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.

Luke 13:30
indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Blessings.

Beautiful and Handsome

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?

 Beautiful

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.

Handsome

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:

Beautiful:

See full size imageSee full size image

Handsome:

    

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,

Blessings

Naty

Whose fault is it?

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?

Be blessed

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Emotions and Christianity

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.

Be Blessed!

 

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The abuse that nobody sees

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

Who owns the moon?

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.

Deuteronomy 4:19
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!