Lessons from a Friend

Hello, everyone,

The first time I met Friend was the first day I went target shooting with him and my then-boyfriend / now-husband. My maternal grandmother had just passed away the night before, so I needed a last-minute distraction before traveling for the funeral. Friend was very polite and kind. He’d always been, and his Glock was actually the first gun I ever shot, because it had a lot less kick than my husband’s Glock. He grew up with my husband and had traveled with him several times. He was very independent, very much into gaming and unique movies, and shared many similarities with my husband and I. Like me, he loved Harry Potter (the books and the movies) and comedian Brian Regan, and like my husband, he enjoyed traveling and trying new things. He was adventurous and had a great sense of humor. Every week, we hung out together. For so long, it was just the three of us hanging together quite often. The three of us traveled to Spain together, as well as Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Other times, we hung out around our hometown. His apartment was always messy, so we more often hung out at our place, whether that meant watching movies, gaming where I looked on (I’m not a gamer, haha), or going out somewhere either seeing a movie or trying a new restaurant. He was the best man in our wedding. He was always a great encouragement and an excellent listener. Friend and I chipped in money together to buy my husband a rifle for his birthday in 2017. Essentially, he was our family, and was like a brother to each of us.

But one day, he disappeared. I can’t tell you why or how he disappeared, because I really don’t know. The only thing I pray is left for him to hold onto is a letter that each of us sent to him, with the reminder that we would always miss him and love him. This July will be three years since he disappeared.

Now, there will forever be a missing piece within our lives. My husband’s favorite pizza place will no longer be the same. Target shooting isn’t as fun. The band Chvrches, the one he introduced us to, will forever remind us of him. Even going to church isn’t the same, because the three of us sat in the same pew together, singing and worshipping the Lord. I always joked with him that one day he’ll be an “uncle” to our kids, and he said he looked forward to it. I hope that one day he’ll discover he has a “nephew.”

Life can give you some nasty twists and turns, and sometimes, I fear that I’ll never stop occasionally having dreams about him. My husband has dreams about him sometimes, too, but I’m one who always has vivid dreams. Once I dreamt I saw him at church, but every time I stepped forward, the place where he stood kept drifting further away.

My husband and I miss him every day. Which is why I’d like to share some life lessons that Friend taught us while he was around, whether he realized he was teaching them or not. I hope that at least a couple of them will be useful to all of you.

1.) Whenever you are going through a trial in your life and it hits you hard, just have the don’t-care attitude. Not like you don’t care about the other person or don’t care how the situation will go. But if you establish a don’t-care attitude, you won’t be filled with worries and fears in your life, and it’ll even help you heal faster.

2.) Sometimes life can get messy, but it’s how you handle life that makes it all the more worthwhile.

3.) Mountain Dew is the best soda to wake up from, especially if you were a night owl like him.

4.) Cheese pizza. Yes, always.

5.) Sometimes it’s best just to put on some headphones and drown out your blues with some tunes.

6.) Sleep is overrated, but it’s also underrated.

7.) “Blackety black black.” – Brian Regan. There’s no such thing as wearing too much black.

8.) Be adventurous and try a little of everything in your life. Live without regrets.

9.) Friendship is at the top of the list of being one of the most important and best parts of living.

10.) First and foremost – trust God no matter what, more than anything, and never stop trusting Him. Just have faith that everything will work out.

I’m writing to ask you; did you achieve all you wanted to do?
Before we were dragged up, something was different and nothing was new
How did you see me?
We didn’t know what we wanted to be
When did we move on?
I didn’t feel it, nobody told me

Time to kill
Was always an illusion
Time stood still
And now we never will, never will

We wrote our names along the bathroom walls
Graffitiing our hearts across the stalls
I’ve been waiting for my whole life to grow old
And now we never will, never will

Graffiti, Chvrches

Come home, Friend. Just come home.

Do you have a friend or family member who you really care about and in whom you share a ton of wonderful stories? Are these stories happy or sad? Filled with tons of humor? I’d love to hear about them 🙂 Comment below!

JMK~

When You Don’t Remember Age Sweet 16

Hello everyone,

The other day, I was sitting at home with my family. The TV was on, but we were watching our now 17-month old son race down the family room hallway and race back, his giggles piercing the air and making my heart melt.

And then, I realized something: I don’t remember being this age. I hardly even remember what happened yesterday! Except for now, of course, I think one of my favorite ages ever within my life was being a teenager, and I hardly even remember those days. Every now and then, a Britney Spears or ‘NSYNC song pops up on my Spotify or Pandora, and it brings me back to those years in which I once considered the Golden Years. But now I realize that these years we’re living in now are the Golden Years. You get married, have kids, and watch them grow up. I still can’t believe how our son James is 17 months old. I remember when he was 7 months old. Actually, I remember when I was 7 months pregnant! Time flies by way too fast, and I hate it. I wish I could cherish those precious moments just a little while longer.

The things I do remember as a teenager, though, are what shaped me to be the person I am today. As a teenager, you’re trying to find yourself and figure out life. You think you know all about life, but then, you feel stupid when your parents tell you a fact you didn’t know. For my dad, it was usually about cars. For my mom, it was anything from God to finding the right spouse to household duties. No matter what season it was, all I wanted to do was sit in my bedroom and either write my latest book in my notebook, or read another romance paperback novel. Ah, those were the days. The days of, whenever my mom called me to come help with supper, I’d sit and wonder whether I should obey or get into an argument with her. The days of lying in bed at night, praying for my one true love, and then discover one day when we’re married that he was always praying for me, too, as a teenager himself. The days of arguing with my sisters about bedtime schedules, why taking a shower in the morning is more crucial than the evening, and not forgetting to turn off the hallway light before bed. The days of sitting in my pajamas in the living room at ten-something at night, watching a few minutes of Jay Leno before heading to bed. The days of getting up at six every morning to do barn chores, then hurry back in time to eat breakfast and get ready for school. The days of jamming to my boombox on Saturday evenings, dancing to myself, and then yelling at my sisters whenever they entered the room to tease me. The days of finding any spare chance I could get to use the family-shared desktop computer at home, pop in a floppy disk (ha), and continue typing up another book. Then, getting mad at my dad when he yells from the other room, asking if I’m on the dial-up internet, because he needs to use the phone. Ah, dial up internet. Those reading this: are you old enough to remember dial-up internet?! The days of sitting cross-legged on the bottom bunk of the bed in my room I shared with one sister, staring out the window at the beautiful countryside and longing to be the age I am now: married with kids.

In every stage of life, there are different trials, challenges, and setbacks. There are regrets and promises of better tomorrows. There are “that was stupid” moments and “I wish I could go back and do that again” moments. How about you? Do you have a favorite embarrassing moment to share from your adolescence? In a way, there are days I’d never want to go back to, and days I’d happily do again. I’d rather not think about school from when I was in first grade to sixth grade, going from bad friendship to bad friendship, and being verbally abused by special education elementary teachers who claimed I had a learning disability that never truly existed. I’d rather think about the evenings spent with my parents and sisters in the living room, watching movies. My hand would cramp up from all the hardcore writing I did. Every day after supper and before homework, I’d go to the piano to practice the latest pieces I was working on with my piano teacher. Every Sunday, we’d pile into my grandma’s Durango to go to church. Every Friday, I’d walk over to my grandma’s house to retrieve another paperback novel, because she ordered four of them every month, until her eyes became too bad to read for long periods of time. What I’d give for one last hug, one last kiss on her weathered check, and one last long story she had yet to tell me. What I’d give just to sit beside her in Grandpa’s rocker and have those conversations, and then watch the latest game show on TV. What I’d give to ride that school bus one more time, to argue with my sisters about bedtime showers, walk lambs along the gravel road in the summer, and sit in the bunk bed either reading or writing.

We all know that life is short. But maybe God planted this blog post idea into my head today to remind all of you of this, because life goes so fast sometimes that we may forget. We get busy with being married, having kids, and working, that we forget to cherish these precious moments until, before we know it, we’re in our sixties and the grandchildren are playing in the next room. Precious, sacred moments that we don’t realize we’ll miss until later on in life. Or until people in your family either move away or are gone forever.

Make those memories. Cherish those times. And remember, don’t blink. The best is not just yet to come, but in the present NOW. So, instead of putting your career at the highest regard, put God and your family first. Instead of planning that weekly card name with the buddies, make it monthly instead so you can spend that much extra time with your family. Instead of sleeping in on Sunday, make it to church with your spouse and kids. Because life is too short for regrets, and the age you are at now, especially if you’re a simple teenager reading this now, you’ll never get to go back to. Never. So cherish every moment. Live for today and not for tomorrow. Live your best life, and you’ll never have another regret.

Enjoy March.

JMK~

Dealing with Social Media Trolls~

Dealing with Social Media Trolls~

Hello, everyone,

If you’re checking out this blog post, chances are that you have dealt with trolls on social media before. For those of you who don’t know, trolls are essentially cruel people on social media who have nothing better to do than to criticize you for something you’ve posted either on your blog or on social media. They may either appear passive-aggressive or downright cruel.

I’ve had trolls criticize my blog & social media posts: from misinterpreting ways in which I parent my child, giving me “how dare you” speeches, going on and on about the political beliefs I disagree with – the list continues. Now I’m not saying that constructive criticism is wrong, but some people can be downright cruel. And quite frankly, especially if it’s on my own blog, I’m thankful for the ability to review viewers’ comments before deciding whether or not I should approve it to the public eye. After all, it can get embarrassing.

Therefore, below are the best ways to deal with trolls on social media:

1.) Don’t let yourself get offended. Because of the bullies on social media is precisely one of the main reasons why we’re not allowing our kids to have or use cell phones or tablets at a young age. There’s too much negativity there to expose them to, even unintentionally. Especially in this day and age where teen suicide and depression has skyrocketed because of online bullies, the best thing to do is to not allow yourself to become hot and bothered by anything on there. It doesn’t amount to anything. These trolls/bullies don’t truly know you, heart and soul, and so they have no right to judge you or anything you do or say in your entire life.

2.) If you must defend yourself, do so calmly and make at least one good defense point. Anything beyond this, they won’t even bother listening to, so it’s not worth it. It’s not their objective to listen to you and agree or disagree. Rather: it’s their objective to make you upset and get you all riled up about things that are truly not going to be seen as bone-deep important on your death bed, for example.

3.) Pray about this person. I know it may sound like a weird thing to do for some people (why should I pray for someone who’s being cruel to me?), God still loves this person and wants what’s best for them. Pray for a change of heart, and pray for them to one day see the cruel wrong they’re causing people.

Now maybe YOU!! Yes, YOU!! are the troll & you don’t even fully realize it. Maybe your initial plan was just to emphasize a point or defend your side of things. Maybe some people call you a direct person when most people do not. Maybe you’re just angry and want to make it clear how unhappy you are. For any reason whatsoever, the below are what you should try your very HARDEST to keep in mind before responding to a blog post or a social media post!

1.) Watch the words you type when responding & make sure it’s 100% respectful as well as factually accurate. For example, using a lot of “you” responses, such as “you think” and “you are” are clearly against that person specifically instead of just against the specific topic they’re talking about. You’re preventing your comments from being hurtful when you make sure your responses are courteous and professional.

2.) Give people the benefit of the doubt. You know your own thoughts & feelings, but nobody except God and that specific individual knows their own specific thoughts & feelings. They may have a specific reason for the way they think & feel about some things. Or maybe you just didn’t understand them correctly. Even if you think you did understand them perfectly, ask them to clarify in order to fully understand them. For example, believing I am a sadistic person in how I play with my child is not fully understanding what happened in that particular scenario, and saying such things is otherwise downright cruel.

This is an incredibly important note! Always give people the benefit of the doubt! It’ll change your life & make you into a happier & better person by doing so. It’s more important to make amends and be friends, rather than trying to judgmental and hurtful. If you really want to vent, go onto the notepad app on your phone and vent in one big, large paragraph – but it prevents people from being hurt and it also helps you let off some steam. No problem is ever resolved by making it a point to hurt somebody just to hotly defend yourself.

3. ) Pray about the situation thoroughly. God wants us all to get along, & be kind and loving to one another. Not get into heated battles about something that really won’t be all that important at the end of our lives. Think about it: you’re an old man or woman on your death bed, and you’re thinking back upon your life. Are you really going to be thinking to yourself, Man, I really wish I had won that Facebook debate or Man, I wish that I had helped that person see where they were wrong. No. Instead, you’re going to be pondering life & death. Where am I going to go when I pass? I wish I would’ve spent more time with my friends & family. I wish I had more days to live on this earth. I wish that I had more time. In order to prevent ourselves from wishing for more time on our death beds, we should be using the time we have left on this earth wisely. Such as:

Be kind to everyone. Stop all gossip & stop being cruel to others. Apologize for any wrongdoing. Be willing to forgive & forget. Be loving & supportive. Spend as much time with all loved ones & friends as possible. Obey the Gospel, and do everything that we can to live for God the way it commands in His Word. We’re never guaranteed tomorrow, so why should we be cruel & unhappy in such a way as if this life is never-ending? We should not only enjoy our own lives, but encourage others to do the same. And how are you going to encourage other people to enjoy their own lives if you’re so busy trying to make it miserable for them? Even if it’s unintentional, the best thing to do in every and all scenarios is to make sure your speech is seasoned with salt, so to speak. Make sure you speak to that person like you would to your best friend or to your mom.

4.) If the post bothers you too much, either talk to the person posting it in private, or ignore it. There are a lot of posts on social media that I either don’t follow or ones that I just plainly ignore. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it also doesn’t mean that I think I won’t win any given debate. But it saves me from loads of heartache by risking getting offended or by unintentionally offending somebody else, and it brings positivity to others by the uplifting posts I have instead.

I hope & pray that all of you will ponder these things I’ve spoken of today, and take them to heart. Social media is both a blessing & a curse. It’s a blessing, because you get to do fun things on there & keep track of people you know and love. But it’s also a curse, because there’s sometimes too much negativity on there it may become overwhelming. Some people may post something without a single thought of it offending another person, so let’s make sure that we always think of others before ourselves – the only true way to live, really, and one of the best ways to serve God is to serve others first. Even before our own selves.

Have a good week, everyone 🙂

JMK~

Writing – My World, My Escape~

8 January 2021

Hello everyone,

I adore escaping to the fictional world where nothing else matters except for the story that is yet to be explored, through your fingers to the computer or laptop keyboard. When I am going through a hard time especially is when this seems like a crucial antidote for me. Well, first and foremost I pray to God about all I’m going through, then I talk with my husband, but then finally, on Tuesdays I escape where nothing else exists except for my story and the characters within it.

Right now, I am in process of sending queries to agents for my romance novel, THE PERFECT SISTER. Editing is my least favorite part about writing, because of how in depth it is and how I always keep finding things to revise. But then, I always keep thinking about Stephen King, who after twenty-some revisions of his book, Carrie, was encouraged by his wife to try just one more time. I enjoy hearing encouraging stories like that, and it makes me even more excited about the future possibility that I am praying for – a chance for my book to end up on bookstore shelves. It’s one of my dreams in life, and God willing, it will work! But in the mean time, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and working my hardest with my writing and editing.

When I was growing up and in my teen years, much like today, writing was my escape. I thought about current WIP each and every day. Whenever I endured school embarrassment about my quiet and sometimes shy personality, I always thought to myself that it would be a much better day once I was sitting on my bed writing. I began with notebooks and then gradually typed it all up on the computer. But since us early 2000s kids had only one computer at home and had to share it, I devoted the majority of my time sitting on my bed with the door closed, music blaring, writing my stories out until I could barely move my hands. I guess you call that carpal tunnel.

For me, escaping to the fictional world of my characters’ reality is the best way to cope while you’re waiting on God to answer your prayers. Or, you simply could be having a bad day and the very conversation of the latest thought-up scene could blare through your mind, and it’ll cheer you right up. Because sometimes, thinking about what’s next for your characters’ lives is a comfort, of sorts, so you don’t have to focus on the depressing or confusing aspects of your own life. It’s not healthy to focus on the negative or be negative. Therefore, to a world where you don’t exist can sometimes help with that. I wouldn’t recommend it for all the time (since you have God to rely on for that). But during the day when you’re feeling sad and have prayed your heart on it, when you go home: focus on your writing (or any other hobby you greatly enjoy) for a while.

It may just be what you needed until God answers your prayers. Or even to distract you from your own realities.

What about you? What are your favorite hobbies and what do you do to help escape your reality sometimes?

I love hearing from fellow followers either through comments or emails 🙂

Have a good week, everyone 🙂

JMK~

That Thing You Just Said – Was It Really Worth It?

11 December 2020

Hello everyone,

 

It doesn’t matter if it’s the holiday season – people really need to be nice.

 

Maybe you’re a regular nice person, and most people agree. But what about those few people who don’t? Don’t they sometimes just drive you up the wall? Sometimes, a person might rub you the wrong way, but I’m telling you, from personal experience: think before you act. This may be quite elementary here, but let’s face it: we can’t make everyone like you. Even if it was something you’ve unintentionally done, no matter if you’re apologizing until you’re blue in the face, that person is still way too adamant to not let go whatever you did.

 

I don’t know about you, but it just seems that in today’s society, nobody is nice anymore. Either they’re nice to your face and gossip bad things about you behind your back, or they’re nice to your face AND nice to you behind your back. There’s no in between. For some reason, I still get surprised whenever I witness a rude person at the store or even hear about it. Or if I’m the phone with a customer service person, such as Amazon, and the person trying to help me is coming off as downright rude. Or maybe you’re in the drive-through line to McDonald’s and the cashier is rather snappy to you. Makes you think to yourself what could’ve possibly happened for them to get that way. It makes me want to shield my son from all the ugly things of the world. I have a feeling that one day, I’m going to have to assure him that, no, everyone in the world is not as rude as that person was to us.

 

I can remind my. own self of this, too, of course, but even when we’re having a rotten day, remember to be nice. Yes, it’s cliche, but is it truthful? Yes. Maybe you don’t “feel” like being nice all the time. But that’s incredibly selfish, really. You may not “feel” like getting up in the morning to go to work, school, church, or wherever – but you still must do it so you can set a good example to your family by doing what’s right. You take care of your own self: your soul, your heart, and your stomach. You nurture it each and every day. And yes, you may occasionally give to charity and feel a softness in your heart whenever you see someone do something nice for another person. But what about you? Are you doing the same by your other actions, such as kindness? Besides simply being generous with your actions, money, and words, are you also kind?

 

Take it this way: when you see someone in front of you take way too long in the grocery store checkout line, nine times out of ten you back your cart out and go to a shorter, faster line. Because you don’t have the patience to deal with people who just take way too slow to pay for their food. But maybe they’re taking too long because they’re worried about how they’re going to pay for it. Do they have enough money in their bank account? Is their spouse going to have to take that second job after all? Is this food going to be enough to feed the children? Or maybe they have several bank accounts and they lost the password to the app, so now they don’t know how much is in each one. The possibilities are endless. By losing patience and going elsewhere is just simply telling that person that we are rude and don’t have the time nor the patience to deal with their shenanigans. Maybe it’s less embarrassing, but is it really necessary? Are you being rude in your actions as well as your speech?

 

Take it another way: that slow driver that’s in front of you. Are you inwardly complaining about how they drive? If they’re from another ethnic background, do you inwardly automatically blame them for not knowing the United States laws the way they should? Do you drive by them slowly to get a good look at them and see if they’re as stupid as they look? Once again, this is wrong, not to mention a complete sin. We need to be good and kind with our thoughts, words, and actions. If there are children in the back seat, they are eventually going to notice how you treat the drivers of the other cars around you. But when you tell them to be nice to someone, all they’re going to remember is the way you treated that driver in front of you: honking, maybe waving some fingers, giving them a stare down – basically being a jerk driver. Then, your kids are automatically going to dismiss what you taught them: how it’s good to be kind to everyone, and choose to be more like you by being mean to other drivers. Maybe seeing such a scene unfold will cause them to bully another kid in school. The possibilities are endless, people.

 

We need to be and must be nice to others. Sure, once you’ve complained enough about that person you don’t see eye to eye with, you feel better, right? Or do you REALLY feel better? Whether you think bad things about someone or said bad things, you’re forever going to have a negative outlook on that person’s life, as well as their personality. You’re forever going to judge every aspect of everything they do and say.

 

We don’t like it when people speak mean words against us. We don’t just not like either; we complain about it, we beat ourselves up over it, and we make ourselves miserable with the reminder of what that person had said. But when we do the same against someone else, how does that make anything better? How do we enjoy our life more knowing we made someone else’s life miserable, whether they were mean to us first – or not? Before we do or say anything anymore, we must consider the Arbinger training’s main attributes: think of others with an outward mindset as opposed to an inward mindset. When we think inwardly, we’re into our own selfish desires, needs, and wants, when we really need to be looking out for others above our own interests and desires. When you live your life, it’s not just all about you. After all, Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of us, and He didn’t even have to do that. But He did it, because He loved us and wanted all of us to have a chance at eternal salvation. We need to treat others the way He treated others: with respect and kindness. Because if we don’t, we’re no different than the people who crucified them. Harsh, but true.

 

Frightening as it may sound, there are going to be a whole lot of people screaming, shrieking, and moaning on their death beds: with regret. Regret for all the wrong they’ve done to others in their lives. Regret for not putting others first. Regret for everything that is not at all selfish, because, after all, they regret it. So how can we prevent that from happening? We live with the right mindset by treating others the way they want to be treated – NOT the way we wish them to be treated. Every person is the same kind of person, no matter their skin color or ethnic background or even their unique personalities. We each have feelings, thoughts, desires, and goals in life. We each crave to love one another, to be loved, and to be treated with the respect we deserve. So let’s treat others that way. Will we get it right all the time? No. Will it always be taken seriously by another person? No. But we must try our hardest to get it right. And when we get it wrong, we must remember to sincerely apologize to the other person. Whether or not they accept your apology and let it go: well, just know that you tried your very best and if a person chooses to remain angry and hold a grudge, you can’t force them to change. All you can do is make the best YOU there is. Like Dr. Seuss says: “There’s nobody YOUER than YOU.”

 

Remember these things this holiday season, but not just then, but every day of your life. Live a wonderful life 🙂

 

Merry Christmas, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~

New Moms: You’ll Want to Read This~

New Moms: You’ll Want to Read This~

13 November 2020

Hello everyone,

 

Are you a new mom or expecting to be a new mom soon? Then you’ll want to read this! As a new mom, there are so many delights and wonders, as well as challenges, to being a new mom. Below is a list of what to expect, as well as not to expect. I hope it helps you! 🙂

 

  • Cherish every moment you get to spend with your babies. They grow WAY too fast! Any moment you waste scrolling on social media is a moment you’ll regret not wasting on your child. Even if it’s the most miniscule task as much as watching them play by themselves or staring down at them while they finish their bottle, it’s worth it. Trust me.

 

  • Have a hobby or extra housework to do? Or even need to soak up some alone time with your husband? Do it once the kid is in bed. Then you’ll feel like you have all the time in the world.

 

  • Those first 6 weeks of staying home and caring for your baby will be difficult – but so incredibly worth it. Your husband may feel neglected. The house will feel out of sorts, as if nothing is getting done, particularly laundry. Don’t you worry about any of that. The first 6 weeks are all about caring for your baby and figuring out how to sneak sleep in wherever you can, as well as working through all those challenges with your husband. Pray your way through it, and God will take care of the rest. The first week I spent with my son James at home was brutal. He was up every two hours (at least) during the night and was a terrible napper during the day. I literally felt like a zombie. But in those moments, remember that even though you’re sleep-deprived, this too shall pass. Soon, your baby will be sleeping throughout the whole night, leaving you and your spouse with only a few hours with them after work before he goes to bed, and then trust me – you’ll want those sleep-deprived nights back, just so you can soak in that extra quality time with them.

 

  • Give your husband the benefit of the doubt. If he’s not the sort to help with diapers, that’s fine. If you’re literally sitting on the couch all day long with a cluster-feeding baby, that’s normal. He can help out with other things around the house such as housework, laundry, and his own hobbies while you take care of business. Then, when the baby is asleep, talk and be with each other as much as you can. And remember, don’t try to pick fights. There will come a time when he’ll have more opportunities to be helpful once the baby grows older.

 

  • For working moms: His/Her first day at daycare will be difficult for you to give them up for 8 hours while you go to work. I will always and forever say this: it is so incredibly unfair that the economy is the way it is that prevents most moms from being able to have the luxury of staying at home with the kids. It’s simply just not fair. Whether you cry when you leave them or not, it doesn’t matter – you’re going to miss them all the time anyway. (On a side note, those moms who do have the luxury of staying at home with their kids: you have NO IDEA how blessed you are!! No idea how hard it is for us working moms to have to be away from their kids! You have no idea the difficulty it is to put them to bed at night, after only spending a few hours with them, and wanting to hate yourself because you feel guilty.) It will always and forever be so completely unfair. But one day, your kids will appreciate the sacrifices you made for them by working your butt off for your job, so they can always have abundance of everything they need.

 

  • Keep either a baby book or a baby month-by-month calendar to keep track of everything your baby does in a single month and how they gradually change. You’ll be glad you did.

 

  • If you’re breastfeeding, the challenge will be difficult at first – but so worth it! I stopped breastfeeding by 6 months – mainly due to the fact that I dried up – and I still miss it. It’s something that’s beautiful, complete nourishment for your baby, and promotes an amazing bonding experience. Formula can do that too, of course, but there’s just something so perfect and wonderful about your baby nestled against your bare chest, their eyes closed and their mouths moving rhythmically.  If you’re unsure about it but want to do it, it’s amazing. And, I know that most lactation nurses suggest against it, if it’s hard for you in any way, use the shields.

 

  • Before you assume your baby has colic, give them some gas drops (even if you’re actually wrong it won’t hurt them), burp them, and then start feeding them again. Within those first four months, it’ll seem like your baby is eating nonstop. I think a lot of moms assume it’s colic when it’s actually just your baby being a cluster-feeder. Find a comfortable place to sit where you can watch movies, TV shows, or read a book, and embrace the experience. It’s all part of motherhood.

 

  • Ah, yes, the advice. Whenever you’re around other people, they give you advice that’s either wanted or unwanted. Usually it’s unwanted. But by them giving you and your husband advice about how to take care of the baby better, little tricks to try, etc., it doesn’t mean you have to take the advice. Just kindly thank them and tell them you’ll keep that in mind. In their mind’s eye, they’re just trying to help. Especially in the beginning, I hated advice. But the best advice that I can give you is to trust your motherly instincts. It’s God-given, natural, and always right on the money. It’ll help you better even than most Google websites will.

 

Do you have any further questions or did I miss something that you wish I would’ve talked about? Shoot me a line at books_jmg@yahoo.com! I don’t claim to call myself an expert, but after now having a fourteen month old, I think I’ll be able to help you in some sort of good way. 🙂

 

JMK~

 

When You Can’t Have the Girl ~

When You Can’t Have the Girl ~

Hello everyone,

What if you can’t have the girl (or guy) that you want most? Either they are with someone else, they’re not interested, or they simply have another situation in their life that prevents you from being able to be with them?

Check out my Current Projects page – because that’s exactly what funny-guy Kellen deals with every day. His best friend Pete is with Maxine, a girl that Kellen has been in love with for years.

Two years before that, during a point where Maxine wasn’t with anyone, a surprise encounter between Kellen and Maxine occurred on the evening of her brother’s wedding. Up until that night, Kellen had no idea of the depth of emotions he would experience that evening, nor of what had come over him, someone in whom hid his emotions behind humor all the time. Whether it was seeing Maxine in her bridesmaid dress, recollecting how much she’d changed since they were all kids playing together, or how dark and disturbed his family life had become, something occurred to cause this alone encounter.

This is my current work in progress. And folks, now I am calling on you guys to help me answer the following questions when writing this book:

  • What thoughts can go through a college guy’s mind when he sees or is with the girl he really likes?
  • What are some other possible reasons for a couple being unable to be together?
  • What appropriate funny and dry humor jokes can you give me to help make Kellen’s character funnier as well as more fun to be around?
  • What are some popular college extracurricular activities? (Excluding parties and drinking.)

Please answer the questions in the comments below! Thank you, everyone 🙂

JMK~

It’s Not the Flag’s Fault~

It’s Not the Flag’s Fault~

9 October 2020

Hello everyone,

 

On my blog posts, I try not to bring politics into anything I talk about. However, I believe the American flag is not so much about politics as it is about what our forefathers stood for, and the peaceful freedom we possess by simply being in this country. Respecting the flag is both an honor and a privilege, even if many now believe otherwise.

 

You may stop reading now if you want. But I just really don’t think the American flag has anything to do with politics at all. If you think about it, the flag has been around since the beginning of our country’s existence. In a poem by Ruth Apperson Rous, the below describes the beginning of its existence and its sole purpose:

“I am the flag of the United States of America.

I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.

There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and stripes as the national flag.

My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with a union of thirteen white stars in a field of blue, represented a new constellation, a new nation dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind.

Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each of the fifty sovereign states in the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever known.

My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country.

My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and daughters.

My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all.

My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.

I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and humanity.

I embody American freedom: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of the home.

I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers – the Pilgrims, Puritans, settlers at James town and Plymouth.

I am as old as my nation.

I am a living symbol of my nation’s law: the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

I voice Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy: “A government of the people, by the people,for the people.”

I stand guard over my nation’s schools, the seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism.

I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation; every schoolyard has a flag pole for my display.

Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their allegiance to me and my country.

I have my own law猶ublic Law 829, “The Flag Code” – which definitely states my correct use and display for all occasions and situations.

I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to honor my birth.

Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow.

I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust for posterity.

If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified and destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators and despots.

Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.

As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for what you are – no more, no less.

Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth.

Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for human liberty.

God grant that I may spend eternity in my “land of the free and the home of the brave” and that I shall ever be known as “Old Glory,” the flag of the United States of America.” 

 

Do you see anything about this flag standing for politics? Just because President Obama or President Trump is the president does not have anything to do with the American flag. This flag has been around no matter who the President of the United States is – no matter what race and no matter what political party. This flag was created and adopted with the sole purpose of being respected and honored, simply because it exemplifies the freedoms this country stands for: the freedoms of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; the Amendments. We must stand by all of these, because that’s what our country has been built on. Like I’ve said before, it is both a privilege and an honor to be in this country. And if you disagree, then why are you even living in this country? If it’s because your family is or because you can’t afford living in another, more expensive country, then don’t complain. There are hundreds of children who want to look up to good role models in their lives, and if we’re teaching our children that disrespecting our flag is the way to go, then go live in a country where you’re able to respect a flag.

 

As noted in the poem above, flags are not just a symbol to a country’s existence, but they individually stand for a person’s free rights to live here. They stand for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Read the Declaration of Independence for more insight. Break open your history books. I bet you won’t find a single word in history about why it’s all right to disrespect the flag. Because when we’re saying the National Anthem during a sports event or any other time, we should have our hats off and our hands over our hearts in respect and honor. In that moment, we’re hearing or singing the anthem for no other reason than to respect and honor what the flag stands for – nothing and nobody else except what was stated in the poem above. Same goes with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

And if we’re teaching our kids to do the opposite, shame on us. Because no matter who the President of the United States is and no matter what laws and regulations they’re trying to pass that you may disagree with – it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the American flag. And if you believe it does, you need to read the poem above over again. And for heaven’s sake, let’s stop punishing those who want to stand for the American flag. We should be proud to live in this country, people, because it is a good and beautiful home that God has blessed us with. There are people in this country – and a lot of them, too – who enjoy living in this country, and if you choose to want to take away the idea of respecting and honoring the American flag, you should seriously re-examine yourself to see if you’re really the kind of person God created you to be. By the use of hateful speech and actions toward people who love the American flag as I do, what kind of people are we becoming for the Lord? How do we expect to give glory to God through our lives if we’re being hateful toward others who respect such a beautiful symbol of our country’s very existence?

 

Let’s think and pray about these things today. I am so sick and tired of seeing so much hatred and anger toward the American flag, and even toward those who respect and honor it as much as I do. It doesn’t make any sense, because the flag has been around for far too long to deserve otherwise. We’re already banning God in the schools. Let’s not ban the American flag, too, and stand up for it instead. That’s what it truly deserves – after all, it’s really not the flag’s fault.

 

Have a spooky and fun October, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~

 

 

Where there is Hostility – Be Nice!

Where there is Hostility – Be Nice!

10 September 2020

Hello everyone,

 

I’m always seeing hostility and disrespect among people. Whether it’s road rage, such as cutting in front of a semi truck (they can’t stop on a dime, you know), budging in line, or talking badly behind peoples’ backs, it’s uncalled for. When and where have people gotten that way, where treating people with disrespect is wrong?

 

There’s so much disrespect in this life. When’s the last time you actually thanked a stranger for something, such as opening the door for you or letting you go first in line? When’s the last time YOU did something nice for somebody else? We’re so quick to judge people’s motives in this life, because we only trust our own motives – or else those in whom we love. But even then, we don’t always treat relatives with kindness and love, are quick to judge their actions, and are quick to talk badly about them behind their backs? How fair is that when, if you know somebody is talking badly about you behind your back, you get angry? Don’t you think that the person you’re gossiping about would get angry or even hurt if they knew the terrible things you were saying about them?

 

To be frank, I know a lot of you don’t care about God, or don’t want to care. But what if I told you there’s a particular Friend who knows even how many hairs we have on our head, and knows every second of every moment of our lives? In those times of gossip and anger, do you think about or even care what God thinks about such ugly criticism? And if you believe you’re going to heaven because you’re a “good person”, why exactly would you believe that when you know that God is against gossip?

 

It is one of my greatest pet peeves to see people treating others with contempt, and for no reason whatsoever. Such simple things as rolling your eyes about the person behind their back is unkind. And does such cruelty make you feel better about yourself? Really? For treating others that way? Please.

 

Folks, let’s simply be kind and courteous today. Think of others more than yourself. Yes, you live your own life – but God created it for you. So, then, technically, your laugh actually belongs to God. And you know what? He’s going to want it back on Judgment Day. Thinking all about yourself and what makes you happy all day long is just selfish. God didn’t give us this life to use on our means, but rather, to help others and, most importantly, to teach others about God and how to obey the Gospel. There’s truly no other good reason for existing. Yes, He also has given us the blessing of marriage, kids, family, friends, and hobbies for our enjoyment. But our MAIN reason for living and breathing – in God’s eyes – is for His purpose. And you know what? There’s no other way I’d rather live.

 

That’s why I’m extremely careful to not gossip about others. Nobody is perfect, but I strive to be as much as I can. I strive to live God’s way as much as I can. Doing so gives you the ability to be kind and respectful toward others. Knowing gives you such comfort, understanding, and peace – you have to try it out to believe me. If I see someone being unkind to others, I either turn my head away to show my disapproval – or else I correct them. We should correct them every time, but it often falls on deaf, uncaring ears. Why? Because people don’t know God, and they don’t care about the possibility of maybe hurting somebody’s feelings just to get increase their pride. But the sad reality is that your pride is NOT going to matter in the end. On Judgment Day, God is NOT going to applaud your efforts of gossiping about others and complaining about people behind their backs. He is NOT going to welcome you into heaven just because of your selfish opinions and actions. If you don’t repent and work on these sins, how do you expect to gain God’s approval on that final day? If you don’t care now, you definitely will on that day!

 

I want to do so many wonderful things in my life. Aside from serving God and living my life for him, I want to devote my life to being a wonderful wife and mother and writer. I want to help and serve others. I want to be a good influence in more than one person’s life. However, if I don’t do anything to God, and if I think only about my own self the whole time, that’ll make this whole life useless and worthless compared to what God is actually concerned about with me.

 

There is way too much evil, as well as heartless people, in this world. No matter what, if you’re going to want to make a difference in someone’s life in a good way, don’t show it by complaining or by disrespecting others. Don’t do it by gossip and slander. Do it by living your best life – not for yourself, but rather, for the glory of God and for helping / serving others any way you can find. It doesn’t even have to cost money to make that kind of difference in someone’s life. But please, just do it today. Forgo all the angry thoughts, feelings, and words you find yourself tasting, and take hold of the good life.

 

If you ever have any questions about blog posts I have, please let me know, and I’d be happy to go over them with you 🙂 Have a good September, everyone! 🙂

 

JMK~

Congrats, Celebrities – Your Fans Now Hate You~

Hello everyone,

Currently, I am furious, extremely devastated and hurt, and appalled.

Celebrities, we’ve watched you perform in theater, in movies, sing amazingly and, if you’re a comedian, made us laugh until we’re falling off our chairs. But the one sad fact I’ve come to realize is that celebrities no longer care what their fans think and believe. When giving speeches, they’re always accepting their speech, adding, “Oh, and the FANS!! Thank you soooo much for believing in us and always making us be better than we ever thought we ever would be….” Blah, blah, blah.

But now I’ve come to realize that they really don’t care about the fans; instead, they care only about themselves.

I’m sure at least most of you, if not all of you, have heard about comedian Jim Gaffigan’s raging political speech on Twitter, dissing not only the President of the United States, but also the fans of his that are voting for Donald Trump for an additional four more years.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A POLITICAL DEBATE, NOR IS IT OPEN TO ONE. THROUGH THIS POST, THE LAST THING I’M HERE TO DO IS TO TALK ABOUT WHO SHOULD VOTE FOR WHO, ETC. What we’re talking about has nothing to do with that and everything to do with how the celebrities now treat certain fans like Conservatives (and yes, I am one), but I also try my hardest to not post political things on social media – because, to be frank: WHO YOU VOTE FOR IS BETWEEN YOU AND GOD. And on Judgment Day one day, we will all stand before the Lord and He will judge us according to the Bible, including the beliefs of the person in whom we decided to vote for in elections.

Remember that, Jim. Jim Gaffigan: a comedian in whom, as of today, I have unfollowed on all social media accounts, as well as on Spotify and Pandora, all because of the cruel and unkind things in which he could’ve very well kept to himself. Before I found out about this angry rant of his on Twitter, I greatly respected he and his family. Even though I knew about his political beliefs, I was glad that he kept them to himself. I prayed for his wife when she was recovering from her brain tumor. I think his kids are adorable. I thought his comedy skits hilarious, and I couldn’t wait for the next ones to come out. I bought all his books. I watched him a lot on Youtube, etc. But that all ends today. What you did on Twitter was disturbing, cruel, and monstrous. I am appalled that I followed someone who could be capable of such unnerving cruelty, disrespecting his fans just because of their political beliefs. This is probably a far cry from when you were first starting out as a comedian, where the last thing you wanted to do was disrespect your fans and be cruel to them. As your numbers grew, you got more and more fans, and more and more respect. But now, the sad but truthful fact is that you really no longer care about your fans, but the numbers, the money, and all of this has nothing to do with pleasing God. This is the same God, by the way, who you prayed hard for, that He would heal your wife from her illness. You prayed to this same God for much success in your career. Other sad times in your life, you went straight to God for guidance.

But how is this cruelty supposed to be respectful to not only your fans, but also to your God? The same God you prayed hard to for your wife is the same God you and other celebrities everywhere are turning your backs against, in order to get what you want and disrespect the fans that love you. Even if you apologize in the future, how do we know you’re even sincere? And how is this Twitter rant supposed to set example for your young children?! I feel sorry for them, that they are now going to grow up in a home where they’re taught, by your actions, that being cruel to other people is fine and good.

When you celebrities started out, the last thing you wanted to do was disrespect your fans. What happened and why has our country come to this where we are willing to cruelly criticize your fans’ beliefs? It is cruel and disrespectful and rude, and the saddest thing of all is that you no longer care. You just want to do what you want and get what you want, as long as that fame just keeps coming to you.

Mark my words, dear celebrities: one day, it’s going to bite you in the butt. One day, you’ll be standing before the Lord and realize how wrong you were with your hurtful actions. Even though some of us are Republicans and Conservatives, don’t forget: we have feelings, too. We’re not stupid, brain-less, or idiots just because we vote for the Republican/Conservative political party. Healthy debates are fine, but where has our country gone, especially in Hollywood, where all the sudden we feel it fine to criticize the fans – by cruel words, swearing, and name-calling – for their beliefs? You will lose tons of fans that way. Shame on you, Jim Gaffigan, and shame on all of you celebrities who are supporting him in his recent Twitter rant!

Believe what you want – privately. Once you’re a celebrity, everything is on the table and you risk so much. If you’re confident that nothing is at risk, then you really aren’t doing any of this FOR THE FANS, and YOU’RE THE ONES that need to “wake up.” If you need to rant your political beliefs, create an anonymous social media or blog website and rant away. But ranting and therefore risking the respect of fans accomplishes nothing.

Those of you who like Jim Gaffigan and any celebrity that thinks it okay to diss fans publicly who believe different political things, etc., beware. These people truly do not care about you as a fan, but are now officially working to support their own fame. Fame that is, sadly enough, something that they will definitely not carry with them into eternity.

If someone posts something political, folks: make sure it doesn’t offend anyone that you know and love, because that is a sin against God. Feel free to have healthy debates all you want, as long as you know the other people won’t become easily offended. It’s more important to have these strong relationships than trying to change someone else’s political views. Political views are between you and God. Whether another person is a different race or a different political affiliation, don’t try to be cruel like these celebrites are being. Don’t look up to these jerks!!!!!!!!!!! Read the Bible – because THAT PERSON is Who you really should be looking up to!!!

JMK~