When God Surprises You~

12 July 2019

 

Hello, everyone,

 

God has been known to surprise me a lot in my life, but sometimes, I forget to thank Him. I think that’s our fault in those moments – that we forget to thank Him for all He has given us. Sure, we ask for things in prayer every day – but do we ever really think to thank Him?

 

There have been so many dark moments in my life, just like everyone else’s life, where I’ve found I could not have gotten through that tunnel of darkness if the Lord hadn’t been by my side. We must have that relationship with Him, though, and serve Him the way it commands in His Word, in order for it to make a real difference in our lives.

 

When I was a kid, I was extremely shy and quiet. Because of that, I often got ignored or put on the back burner. I often got made fun of and ridiculed. Everyone I knew were very outgoing and didn’t know how to deal with a quiet, shy person like me. That darkness a shy person feels can only be understood by introverts. To this day, sometime I’m still shy, but I’m 95% better than I was back then. I owe that only to God.

 

When I was in college my sophomore year, I decidedly disliked my major of mass communications that I was in. It wasn’t for me, and I simply had to find my way. A professor suggested I take up a degree in English instead, and once I changed my degree, my life was forever changed. I loved college classes because of that, and grew much more knowledgeable in my work as a freelance writer. Not only that, but my degree gradually landed me a job that I love. I owe these things to God.

 

In 2011, after a bad breakup with my first boyfriend, I wanted nothing to do with men for the rest of my life, which left me miserable, because finding my one true love had been my #1 goal and desire in life aside from serving God. But God surprised me: a friend introduced me to my future husband. I took a risk and after four months of getting to know him through our daily text conversations, he mustered the courage to ask me out. Then, at KFC, we met for the first time, and that meeting changed my life. Because of God, my husband is my #1 blessing in my life and my best friend. I owe everything I’ve experienced and love to God for blessing my husband in my life.

 

And finally, last year was when it didn’t look very hopeful for us to get a house. Also, we felt like God was making us wait for a baby. These two things were constant thorns in my side. And then, last December, God blessed us with the opportunity to finally get a house. Then, a week or so after we started looking at houses, I found out I was pregnant. And now, we’re perfectly happy in a twin home and will be expecting a kid in September! Although, I felt ashamed of myself for doubting Him in the times when I had. The day I got our pregnancy confirmed with a doctor, I was on cloud nine. The whole drive home, I could not stop praising and thanking God for His blessings. After waiting for what seemed like forever, crying about it and praying about it daily, I had resigned myself with the realization that if God willed for these blessings to occur, He’d make it happen. And He did! He understands each and every one of us better we know ourselves. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout this entire past trial, it’s that God surprises us in His most perfect timing.

 

Believe that today! I can’t wait to see how God surprises my family and I in the future. So if you’re reading this, stuck in a rut and wondering how God will possibly pull through for you – believe this today, folks. God WILL come through for you! Yes, it will be within His most perfect timing, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. The world doesn’t revolve around us, our needs, and our wants. God wants us to serve Him and lean onto Him – not out of weakness because we’re not weak – but out of love, respect, honor, and adoration toward Him. He knows what’s best for us. No, it may not be exactly what we prayed for, but even in time, you will see that God knows that His answer to our prayers – not ours – worked out better than any other conclusion we could’ve ever imagined.

 

Do you have questions about this or how to come to God? Or maybe you’re struggling and need a listening ear? Hit me up by an email message or a comment below! I always love hearing from my followers.

 

Also, once the baby is born, I recognize that I’ll have little to no time for writing. I understand that my writing may need to be put temporarily on hold. But that’s okay – you know why? Because I trust that God will surprise me, as He has surprised me in the past, and as He will continue to surprise me. And He’ll even surprise YOU! But only if you let him πŸ™‚

 

Have a safe, happy, and fun July πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

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Coffee: a Love Story~

14 June 2019

Hello, everyone,

 

I haven’t had coffee since early January. I know that some experts say it’s okay to have it and some other experts say it’s not, but because of the conflicting reports, as well as the fact that I don’t want a crazy hyper child one day, I’ve chosen to forego caffeine. It is really hard, though, especially because I LOVE my morning black coffee and any other coffee drinks such as lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos.

 

Every time I go to the grocery store, I pass my favorite coffee shop of all time, and my mouth waters. Therefore, below I made up my own personal letter to coffee for your enjoyment.

 

Dear Coffee,

 

Oh, how I miss you. It’s been so long since I’ve tasted that dark, murky, delicious warmth that is pure bliss to my tongue. Even though it is truly worth foregoing your wonderful taste to bring forth a healthy child, nevertheless I still crave you and long to inhale a strong, steaming brew. Decaf is a joke, and non-caffeinated teas don’t cut the mustard. I am not ashamed for avoiding you, but I still miss you.

 

You and I, Coffee, we’ve been through a lot together. I remember when I was twelve years old and started drinking you with cream and sugar, but then later decided I didn’t like that. If I wanted to enjoy coffee, I wasn’t going to waste the time of putting cream and sugar in there when I could just dive right in. College was when you and I really grew close, such as those late-night study sessions with me, myself, and I – as well as you – and choosing you to keep myself sane through difficult classes and people I encountered every day. Aside from God, there are no words to properly describe how grateful I am to you for helping me through those times, and supporting me. I first fell in love with lattes when I ordered a white chocolate raspberry mocha every Saturday morning, and brought back to the college dorms. All the way there, I occasionally regarded that decorative Styrofoam cup I held within my hands, and my heart couldn’t wait to savor your utter goodness. Coffee, you and I are made to be forever.

 

There will come a day when I can drink you on a regular basis again. But until that day, I will continue missing you, as well as recalling the good times we’ve spent together in the past.

 

Love your most adoring and favorite #1 fan ever,

 

JMK~

Future Writing Goals~

5 May 2018

Hello, everyone,

 

As a writer, one is always making goals for oneself, it seems like. I try to write them down as often as I possibly can, because if I don’t, then it really bugs me until then.

 

Below are the goals I hope to accomplish between either the remainder of this year of next year. I understand that, as I’ll soon be a full-time worker, mother, homemaker, and wife, I might have little to no time for writing. But still, that is people’s assumption, that they must give up on their hobbies or dreams in order to accomplish another dream or desire. That is not necessarily true. Aside from being a Christian wife and mother, I plan to still be an avid writer as much as I possibly can. Therefore, below are my goals:

 

  • Research some more literary agents and publishers to send query letters to.

 

  • Send query letters to literary agents and/or publishing companies.

 

  • Finish hanging up all the wall hangings left to hang up in our house.

 

  • Finish organizing, planning, and decorating the nursery.

 

  • Start and complete gardening and landscaping projects around the building of the house.

 

  • Create and schedule enough blog posts to last throughout the rest of the year and into the beginning of 2020, so I can focus on other, more important things during that time.

 

  • Continue to be devoted to helping out others as much as possible and helping out / being more involved at church.

 

  • Finishing writing my book, “Crimson,” and any other book that may be left unfinished, even if remains unedited.

 

  • Staying involved on social media as much as I can.

 

What are your goals for the remainder of the year, as well as any summer goals? What is your favorite hobby? What are ways that you put one dream on hold to take hold of another dream?

 

Have a good one, everyone πŸ™‚

JMK~

How to Live a Happy Life~

19 April 2019

Hello, everyone,

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, and I do apologize about that. I’ve spent the past couple months getting prepared for our house and baby, as well as planning, organizing, and nesting. I have missed writing, however, very much, and even after the baby is born, I still plan to write. I’ll never give it up.

 

So with everything going on around you, living a busy life day after day, how do you still live a happy life?

 

Well, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt truly happy until I’ve heartily prayed about the things in my life that bug me, and then leave the rest to God, trusting Him to handle it in His own good time. It gives you such peace when you finally allow God to take care of even the smallest things in your life, such as what you and your spouse are going to have for supper that night. I’ve been known to pray about such things. It gives me the courage to rely on the Lord even more. In fact, you can rely upon Him with anything in your life that may bug you. Praying about it simply makes it all disappear, as well as causes you to realize that maybe the situation isn’t as bad as you may think. After all, you’re giving it to a big God who is more than capable of handling it!

 

The main reason there is a growing rate of suicides in the world today, is because people are not truly happy. They may have hobbies that they love, family members that they love, and so forth. But if you don’t a hundred percent give everything to the Lord, then how do you expect to endure true peace in your life? Even after a couple of days of neglecting to pray, I feel weak and empty inside. Many times, I’ve heard how people in the news admitting that they felt suicidal or depressed, because they felt so empty inside. Β That emptiness and depression wouldn’t be there if only they had given their problems and burdens to God. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. There are still things that I personally struggle with and have to cry out to God about them every day, but I pray that God will help me through them and give me the wisdom and guidance to know how to encounter such trials. Maybe the trial is a person in our life who brings us down in some way, or maybe it’s an event or circumstance that you dread coming across either occasionally or regularly. Maybe it’s something in your own personality that you wish was different. Whatever the case, give it to the Lord. Even though He knows what we need and want before we ask Him, we should never be afraid to ask Him for things, because that’s what builds a lasting relationship with Him.

 

There was a time in my life when I hardly ever prayed to God unless I absolutely needed something extremely important changed or a problem fixed within my life. I realize now how wrong that was. Aside from asking for things we need and want, as well as giving all of our burdens over to Him, we need to do so with a thankful heart. A lot of times, if we get a prayer answered, we forget about how fervently we’d prayed to God about that situation that we don’t even thank Him for the answered prayer! We must stop this. After all, God gave us His Son to die on the cross to pay for all of our sins. Jesus was innocent; we are not. God gave us the blessing of our spouse; our true friends; our family; our home; our jobs; our cars; our gift of life to breathe and live each and every day. If we only pray to God whenever we need Him, we’re not giving Him enough credit and we’re definitely not being very fair to Him who has given us all things.

 

So once again, do you want to know the key to a truly happy life? God. Find God, and you find yourself and every answer to every problem in your life. Find God, and you’ll never be depressed or suicidal. Find God, and everything will work out beautifully in your life. And trust me – as soon who prayed fervently every day for years for a baby and a bigger home, and those things have happened – they WILL turn out all right. πŸ™‚

 

Happy Easter, everyone πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

19 February 2019

Hello everyone,

 

When I was growing up, life seemed so much simpler. For everyone, I believe, it does feel that way. When you’re in junior high, for example, the only things you’d hafta worry about are: cleanliness, making sure your school homework is due on time, and staying out of the way of school bullies. Right now, I’d gladly go back in time and live at least one day during my junior high years, but not to do it again – rather, to remember who I was back then and how I’ve changed from then until now. Also, I wish I could have at least one more conversation with my grandmother again. I miss her every day, and unfortunately, it wasn’t until she passed away that I came full force with the abrupt realization of how fast time really does go. I remember visiting her house when I was a child where she served me tea and cookies, only to grow up and walk through the now- empty house as an adult.

 

I’ll give you an example of how fast life goes: in the above picture is the welcome sign to Leith, ND, where my mother and her five siblings grew up out in the country. This tiny, sleepy town only has one working business: the bar, and the remainder of the buildings sit still, silent, and closed down, boards up with stories left to tell.

imagesThe above picture’s building used to be the post office. I’ve looked through the windows before, and there are still fliers left hanging up inside it. One year, the town was having an anniversary celebration, and it was fun to see most of the buildings open, walk around inside them, and inspect how life once used to be. In the early 1900s, my late great-grandpa Julius ran the town creamery with his father and then with his brothers. His wife, Gram Margie, used to tell us stories when she was alive, stories of harsh winters spent where my late grandma Rita and her brother sometimes walked to the creamery to stay warm instead of walking all the way home. One afternoon when I was a teenager, I sat with Gram Margie in her assisted living family room, flipping through old, black and white photosΒ  and asking questions; the stories she told me really struck.

 

Country music legend Alan Jackson (who happens to be my all-time favorite country music artist by the way) even touches on such details within his song, “Little Man.” I grew up listening to old country music legends whenever we traveled to town or even thirty miles away where the best and most affordable grocery store was for us. My mom even had it running on the house stereo as we helped her clean house on Saturdays. It gradually became a comfort to me, and to this day, I refuse to listen to “modern” country music. You can’t beat the classics like Clint Black, Alan Jackson, George Strait, etc., and I find it sad that a lot of school kids nowadays don’t even know who those people are. I consider them part of my childhood, as well as part of who I am as a person. Why? Because it was those songs that we listened to as we traveled to places with my parents. And it was those car rides that made me think and ponder my life and who I was – not in a negative or depressing way, but just pondering how far God had taken me thus far. Whenever we went to Leith, ND, which was at least once a year, it was like coming home. Not only did we get to see my maternal grandparents, but we got to appreciate even more country side living and how it’d shaped us as human beings. I feel the same way with my parents’ home, especially now that my maternal grandparents have now passed on and we don’t visit Leith anymore. I’ll always be a country girl in my heart, because that’s how I was raised.

 

We each have our story to tell, and one day, we’ll tell those stories to our grandchildren and, God willing, great-grandchildren. I hope and pray that I get to do that one day, to tell them about my life and the blessings God has granted me. Nowadays, as my husband and I work every day, as well as work to get a bigger place to live with a baby on the way, I realize we are starting our own legacy. At one time in their lives, our grandparents were doing the same things. Then, suddenly, one day they wake up in their old age and realize their spouse is gone and they can barely walk. I wish I could’ve asked my grandparents more questions, such as how they’d handled life challenges when they were building houses and creating their families. What were their thoughts, feelings, and ideas? How did God so creatively chart their life courses?

 

You’ll get busy with taking care of the house, raising kids, and working – and then bam, before you know it, you’re sitting in the nursing home pondering your life. It’s rather sad, really, but it’s also needful, because it makes you want to cherish those good memories and good times more and more every day. I know I’ve written a blog post similar to this one before, but I cannot stress even more of how important it is to cling to life and cherish every moment. What kind of legacy do you plan to leave behind? And how do you want to live your life? Hopefully not with regret.

 

As I live my own life, in the here and now, I plan to enjoy the good moments, wonderful times, and pleasant memories as often as I possibly can. Because before you know it, in a blink of an eye, life ends and all that remains are the stories that your children and grandchildren continue without you.

 

If the empty, closed down, and boarded up buildings could talk, they’d tell stories on who had lived or worked in that building. In fact, they’d probably never stop talking. Story after story they’d tell of the human beings who stepped foot between those walls, busy with life, going about their business with no thought at all how maybe, just maybe, that very business might be closed down one day. Old ones die, and houses that were built with two hands by an in-love couple who raised a houseful of children are now left behind to rot.

antler1downloadleith

Look at the house in the second picture above – it’s dark, empty, and lonely, left behind by a happy family that grew up laughing, playing games, and learning about life. Look at the buildings in the other pictures. They’re all empty, abandoned, and alone, no longer wanted and no longer needed. Gives you something to think about it, doesn’t it? There were once memories in all of these similar type places throughout the country. The buildings could tell us story after story.

 

Back in the 1900s, I can just imagine the hustling of an old shop’s door jingling open and closed as the workers carried out their business. Young women in their thirties, with long dresses and thick coats, stringing along several small children, to make a deposit at an old bank that no longer exists, or to mail a letter in a post office that is now closed down. Their husbands are at home, farming the land. The children they carry along were our grandparents. If you think about it, it steals your breath away to ponder how life begins and changes in an instant. When an old one passes, new life begins, and so forth will life continue until Judgment Day. We’re only here for a short time, after all – only 80-100 years, if we’re lucky. Let’s make the best of every moment and every day that we have left. One day, after we pass, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be following in our footsteps: growing up, graduating from school(s), getting married, having children, buying a house, raising the children, and then, growing old. Before long, our memories become farther and farther away from our future generation’s minds, and one day, a child picks up a picture of you eighty years later and asks her grandparent who that is. Then, after an explanation, that picture will be placed back in a drawer to rest.

And in the mean time, our grandchildren and great-children will one day whisper,Β  “I hope I make her proud by carrying on her legacy.”

 

JMK~

Writers & Personal Style~

22 January 2019

 

Hello, everyone,

 

I love to watch a good movie, preferably anything of either the superhero kind or a romantic drama / comedy. Everybody has their own tastes and preferred genres when it comes to movies. Some like horror movies or can’t seem to get enough of Stephen King flicks. Others watch only inspirational movies. For myself, it’s a mix. Around Halloween especially is when I really get courageous enough to see a new horror movie. But the point is: everyone has their own tastes.

 

The same is true for artists – some prefer watercolors; others, a different type of painting style. For writers, we all have our own genres that we prefer as well. I prefer romantic suspense, because I love a good love story, wound together within a intense mystery where the reader gradually pieces together a puzzle. Maybe that’s why Kate Morton is my favorite author. Also, there’s nothing wrong with the genre you prefer, or the type of writer you are.

 

The only thing wrong is when somebody makes it their priority to try to hurt you or else ruin the objectives to your dreams in which you’re currently working so hard for. These people are called bullies. Online, they’re called cyber bullies. Now there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism – the kind where people kindly correct you about how to be better at your dream career or hobby. That type of stuff I happily accept. But, as many of you probably know very well, there’s the ugly type – those who purposely try to say cruel and untrue things about you. They may post an ugly comment on a social media page of yours, or share your information just to publicly humiliate you or else try to destroy your public image on social media.Β  I’m not sure what causes people to want to purposely harm others to get what they want or maybe to even make them feel better about themselves, but I’ve dealt with it enough times to realize that these people are not worth even corresponding with. So whenever someone does try to purposely get you, just remember one thing: nobody can ever prevent the dream career or hobby you’re trying to reach. Absolutely nobody. All you must do is block them, maybe fix your privacy shields a bit if you need to, and move on. It’s not even worth trying to defend yourself to people who are not keeping an open mind or open heart about the kind of person you are, or the art you’re trying so hard to create.

 

Writers aren’t perfect. Human beings aren’t perfect, and we haven’t been since before Adam & Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. If writers make a mistake, maybe they aren’t aware of it. Maybe they need some kind advice. But don’t berate them, embarrass them either publicly or privately, and don’t belittle them. In the long run, such cruelty isn’t going to benefit you, especially if readers discover you’re cruel to other authors/writers. Don’t you want people who follow you on social media to look up to you?

 

Writers – we are all in the same boat here. We all want the same goal: to be published, and to positively affect the world through our stories. But how exactly are you doing that if you’re being a bully to other fellow writers/authors? Still, I forgive you. This post isn’t about shooting daggers at anyone, but rather, showing people the right and wrong ways to criticize art. The art of writing is a beautiful thing. God blessed us with the talents to commit pen to paper and create amazing stories. But God did not create us to harshly or cruelly criticize other people’s mistakes or personal styles. Such negative attributes are straight from the devil.

 

Constructive criticism is beneficial and is much encouraged. Going forward, please make sure that the criticism you give others is not going to hurt them in any way, and is said in the nicest way possible. As an artist, writer, or whatever hobby or career you’re passionate about, you’re always going to receive criticism. You’re also always going to have the chance to give criticism. But just make sure that both are done in the right way. Otherwise, it not only tries to destroy that artist or writer’s character, but it begins to eat at your character as well.

 

There are millions of people out in the world longing to make a difference to the world. Don’t try to ruin that for them, especially when you’re trying to make a difference yourself. Instead of being an enemy, be a friend, because friendship will change a person’s life for the better; enemies only destroy.

 

So writers, I encourage each and every one of you to write in your own personal style! Work your hardest and be the best that you can be, and don’t let anyone ever create doubts in your mind about yourself. Don’t ever let anyone try to thwart the dreams you’re working to accomplish. I especially encourage you to pray about it, because with a little bit of hard work and a little bit of fervent prayer, God WILL bless you.

 

Have a good week, everyone. And remember, be nice. πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

Waiting for What You Want Most~

Waiting for What You Want Most~

14 January 2019

 

Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

I cannot believe that it is finally the new year! πŸ™‚ 2018 was such a terrible year, filled with disappointment and death. Therefore, I am so thankful for a new year; for new beginnings and adventures. I’m so looking forward to what God has planned for us this year!

 

In fact, below are my 2019 goals. I never fulfill all of my yearly goals, but it’s still fun to plan and think ahead, isn’t it?

 

  • Develop a stronger faith & a complete trust in God.
  • Finish my current WIP (Work In Progress), “The Innkeeper’s Secret”, and thoroughly revise it and do research on it.
  • Finish my final FINAL revision of “The Dead Sister”, completely revise the query letter & synopsis, and once again submit to literary agents.
  • God willing – find our house, buy it, and move out of our apartment before the summer.
  • Spend more time with family and true friends, as well as church family.
  • Learn better on forgive and forget, as well as how to be completely content with my life for now.

 

Right now, I am waiting on several things in my life. One thing I can mention is that I am waiting for the time when I’m once again a published author! Within this past week, I became an official author on Goodreads!! How huge that is, because to me that means that I’m still not just a writer, but an author. Granted, I’ve only published one book in my life, but still, I have faith that one day, God will bless me with even more books to place on bookshelves. This time, God willing, they’ll be on shelves at Barnes & Noble – just like my favorite author, Kate Morton.

 

Waiting is sooooo tough. Everyone in the world has waited on something in some point of their lives. Maybe you’re simply waiting for life to begin – for college to start, to finally move out and be free from your parents. Or maybe you’re waiting to finish college and find that career you love. You could be waiting for that dream career, for God to bless you with that perfect spouse, for God to bless you with a baby, or for God to save you from the problems/trials going on in your life.

 

Whatever you’re waiting on – just remember, God knows. Right now, God has forced my husband and I to wait for blessings that only He can provide. But in those times of trial and uncertainty, it’s important not to lose hope or faith. This season of waiting is simply just a test of your faith. God wants to see how much you’ll depend on Him – or if you’ll take matters into your own hands! And folks, DO NOT TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS!! Do not even make a single decision in your life without praying about it first. It’ll only cause you to have to take a serious detour within that certain big decision or issue you’re praying hard for. But if you simply trust God and be patient, God WILL come through for you because He DOES exist and He DOES LOVE YOU more than you can possibly imagine!

 

One of the hardest choices I’m faced with right now is being patient – but in the course of that, I’m learning how to be content with where God has put me at this point in my life. No, it’s not fair, and quite often, I cry out to God and pray with my whole heart for Him to answer our prayers. But alas, we must let God’s timetable rule.

 

Soooo what are you supposed to do in the mean time while you wait?

 

Busy yourself with the hobbies you love. Right now, while I wait, I’m devoted to re-decorating and re-organizing our home, playing piano more, reading suspense novels, working harder to learn & love my job better, and planning and writing my current WIP. I’ve also devoted myself to spending more time in God’s Word, in prayer, and spending more time with my husband, Ryan, as well as my family, true friends, and church family. No, all of these hobbies do not block the desperate longing coursing through my heart several times a day. They do not block out the need for those dreams that drive me forward daily. But even more important than that – in fact, the most important of all – by gradually learning to let go of my fears and worries each morning and choosing to trust God, I’ve found an everlasting peace. That peace comes only by giving our Creator all control. I’m not saying it’s easy; in fact, it comes only over time, as well as through sincere Christian growth.

 

But I promise you this – when God whispers, “Okay, you’re ready now,” and answers your prayers – just think how eternally thankful you’ll be! And you know what? You’ll also be thankful that you had trusted Him in the first place, because He is our dearest friend we have, and He will never let us down. Never! No matter how He chooses to answer our prayers! πŸ™‚

 

Are you struggling right now in your faith? Or are you looking to get closer to God? Or maybe it’s your first time turning to God in your life and you want to learn more about Him? Come on, don’t be shy. – Please feel free to comment or else drop me a line at my email: books_jmg@yahoo.com. Never lose hope, my friends, and never lose patience! Yes, it will be trying at times – but it WILL be so incredibly worth it!

 

Make sure to follow me on Goodreads! Have a good January, everyone πŸ™‚

 

JMK~