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~

New Parent? No Problem!

7 August 2020

Hello everyone,

Children are a gift from the Lord. I learned that fact from the instant I found out I was pregnant, and continued to adore that fact as I felt him kick and move around inside of me, until finally, he was placed skin to skin on my chest. I cried when he was born, as most mothers do, and each and every day is a simple adventure that my husband and I experience as new parents. It hasn’t come easy, and quite frankly, most times I feel like we’re just winging it – which is really what being a new parent is about: winging it and playing each situation by ear. For example, if the baby is crying and you don’t know why, there’s only a handful of reasons why, and if you start going through all those possibilities of why he’s crying, eventually you’ll find out what’s wrong so that he or she will stop crying.

 

I know there are a lot of new parents out there. Each and every day is a new beautiful baby born to a married couple. So below are 12 pieces of advice that I have for you. You can agree or disagree, but all in all, it might just help you out in learning how to be a better parent.

 

  1. Relying on God throughout it all – particularly within that first month – is the most important and best decision you’ll make. The power of prayer is a magnificent thing, and simply praying for wisdom in dealing with your new life is a parent will give you comfort as well as the confidence you need in yourself.
  2. During this time, your spouse will be the most important person in your life – even over your baby. No matter how demanding the baby is, remember to spend as much quality time with your spouse as possible. Cherish every free moment you get to spend together – even if it interferes with catching up on your sleep. Sleep is one thing, but it’s far more important to not lose that close bond the two of you have. (Side note: as the baby grows, if you continue to make time for that bond, your relationship will only get that much better and stronger, and you’ll definitely fall more in love with them because of it.)
  3. Your baby will let you know what he or she needs. But if your baby is crying, remember to not get stressed out. Anything is fixable, and your baby doesn’t know that you’re a beginner. Trust your baby that they will let you know.
  4. There will be a ton of people giving you advice – whether it’s asked for or not. The most important thing in this situation is to remember that you don’t have to take their advice, or agree with it for that matter. Nobody needs to judge you for how you parent your child, and if they strongly suggest you heed their advice, kindly tell them how much you appreciate it, but to trust in your decision for that situation. You’re the parent. You’re going to do what’s best for your child.
  5. You don’t need a bottle sterilizer, but you do need a bottle warmer. Not so much for formula purposes, since you can use warm water for that, but for reheating bottles of breast milk. It was a life saver, especially with a very unhappy baby. Using a bottle sterilizer just ate up a bunch of time that I could have used doing other more important things, such as making sure I had that quality time with my husband.
  6. When people offer to watch the baby for any reason whatsover, take them up on it! Catch up on sleep, laundry, or breast pump.
  7. Behind on filing your bills and laundry? Don’t worry about it, because your husband won’t worry about it either. Especially in the beginning, I was stressed out by the fact that laundry seemed to always be piling up and paid bills sat on a pile nearby waiting to be filed away. But when my husband assured me that he wasn’t worried about it, and when I also learned that thousands of other women in the country deal with the same problem as parents, I didn’t worry so much about it anymore. The most important thing is to cherish the bonds you have with your spouse and kids. Everything else will be time in good time.
  8. The pediatrician isn’t always right. Sure, it’s good to ask for advice, but every baby is uniquely different. Follow your motherly instincts. Over anything else or anybody else, those instincts will be your best best in dealing with your baby. Trust them, and you won’t ever be disappointed.
  9. Become an expert multi-tasker. A lot of times I spent holding my son James in one arm, and a fork in my other hand. Sometimes my hand cramped up. But it’s all worth it, and it’ll teach you how to be a better multi-tasker in the future.
  10. The Baby Panda app is the genius app in getting your baby to take long naps. But in the end, what really worked for us was putting him to bed for a nap, in his swaddle sack, in his bed, with a full tummy and clean diaper, and letting him cry it out for up to 10 mins. But we waited until he was at least 4 months old for this.
  11. Swaddling sacks by Halo are a genius. Buy one and you won’t be disappointed.
  12. Enjoy and cherish every moment you can, even the dirty diapers. They grow fast. Way too fast! So make sure to cherish those times with them, take lots of pictures, and remember how short life really is. God gave you this life to enjoy. Embrace parenthood, and you will never, ever regret it.

 

Take care always,

 

JMK~

 

COVID-19 = Time to Test One’s Faith in God

COVID-19 = Time to Test One’s Faith in God

Hello everyone,

If this stupid pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that I really need to rely on God better! Especially as a mother with a 10-month old, mischievous little boy, the last thing I need is for him becoming seriously ill. But God has been gracious and merciful, and so far, he has been incredibly happy and health – of course, except for church, home, and daycare, he really doesn’t go much else. In a single weekend, he is literally confined to our home. My husband and I quite often take turns grabbing items from the store, or having the grandparents watch him while we run this or that errand. It can sometimes be quite frustrating.

Within this country, I have seen so many people in our country, particularly governmental leaders in our individual states, freak out over a virus. Understandably so, where we should of course make sure to wear out masks, use hand sanitizer, and keep a healthy distance between other people. But even despite all of this protection we’re giving ourselves, there’s a certain unhealthy paranoia. People are freaking out! Anxieties are high and tempers get strained, and what’s sad is that some of our leaders would rather open up bars than churches, something we need more than anything else. For a while there, my church was worshipping outside, and that’s fine to an extent.

But it’s so incredibly important – even more important than watching the news and soaking in all this negativity – more than ever, we need not to worry or be afraid. We need to not be more paranoid that our state leaders are recommending or even requiring that we be.

Instead: WE NEED TO TRUST IN GOD.

GOD, our Master and the Giver of all good things, Who not only created us human beings but knows every part of our human bodies – even down to how many cells our bodies carry – will certainly take care of us. Prayers is a beautiful thing. The prayer of the righteous achieves much. Which means, quite simply, that if we trust in God, everything will work out. But when we pray in God and choose to trust in Him, we MUST MUST MUST let it go!! This, for me, is the VERY hardest part! It’s difficult, because we, as human beings, are blessed with the gift of free will. Which means that it’s hard to let go of that built-in ability to try and control our own destiny. But we must, in order for us to see progress, in order for things to get better and – most importantly!!!!!!!!! – GOD DOES HIS BEST WORK WHEN WE TRUST IN HIM COMPLETELY, LET GO OF OUR FEARS & WORRIES, AND LET HIM DO HIS JOB!

I don’t know if you realize this, but God is working His job 24/7. He excels at it perfectly. He knows exactly what He’s doing, too, because He loves us and always wants what’s best for us. All we need to do is acknowledge Him through prayer and trust in Him completely, just like the Bible says: “TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOU HEART AND LEAN NOT ONTO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.” PROVERBS 3:5,6! This is one of my all-time favorite Bible verses, because it cuts right to the heart. So many times in the Bible, we can read the words “do not fear” and “be still and know that I am God.” Within all the Bible stories we read about, God made a way for each and every one of them, even when they sometimes doubted Him. Obviously, it’s in our nature to doubt. Daily, we are fighting against the devil in order to win the ultimate fight: continue to reach eternal salvation (Acts 2:38).

Nothing is impossible with God. That trial you’re going through right now? God knows what He’s doing, and if you pray hard about it and then let it go and trust in Him, He will direct your paths. If you lost your job due to the pandemic, He’ll bless you with a new one. He’ll ALWAYS make a way when there seems to be no way.

Look, there’s so much media negativity out there. These state governmental leaders are telling you: “You really need to freak out, plan ahead, and use every precaution there is.”

But what is God telling you? “Be still and know that I am God.” Let HIM do His job, and you continue to live your life and enjoy it to the fullest – the very life that God has blessed you with.

Yes, I sometimes get nervous about where this pandemic is headed. God willing, it’s headed to its end very soon. At the end of the day, all I want is for this pandemic to be over and done with.

But no matter what, we just need to keep the faith and trust in the Lord. He’s going to bring you through this, and then, once He does, you’ll realize that your faith in Him is so much stronger than you ever thought possible. And you’ll be happier, too.

Take care always,

JMK~

Epilogue

Epilogue

One year later

Lincoln, Montana’s church bell rang on a bright and beautiful Sunday morning. It had been at least a year since the rest of the Whitworth family had been sentenced to many years in prison for the crimes they had committed. Byron, having had a much more share of murders from his own two hands, had been sentenced to life in prison. Cole did not visit them, nor did he ever wish to.

In the span of time since Cole had protected Madison that awful morning, they had grown much closer as a couple. Cole and Mick were much closer now, as well, often having Mick’s favorite golf tournaments together, although Cole preferred any other sport better than that one. Cole had also been finally introduced to Madison’s parents and brother, who had eventually come to accept the circumstances that Cole had come with. They had been appalled to learn of the intense danger Madison had been put through, but once they had listened to Madison’s side of the story, they had come to accept Cole as a great person through and through.

Madison and Cole had both also done better with their college homework, and would both soon be graduating. Madison intended to work at the school in Lincoln as an art teacher, and Cole had taken on a business degree as a self-employed social worker. He intended to help families who ever had had their share of turmoil as he had, even more so before he’d ever met Madison. He knew without a doubt that her constantly sunny outlook on life had changed him, and had brought him to be a better Christian and person.

As for the estate, Cole had sold the entire estate, because of too many bad memories, not long after the FBI had finished investigating the entire premises. With selling the estate, he’d earned a lot of money, along with every dollar of money each of his family members had kept in the bank through their savings accounts. His mother, especially, had left plenty of money to him through her will. Cole knew that some people would think of him as a rich man, but he was not going to dote upon his wealth selfishly. He was mainly just prepared to give Madison every piece of happy life that she needed, making sure all her needs were met before his own.

So after church, Cole called, “Come on!”

With Madison giggling, she followed Cole hand in hand to the park across the street.

“What’s going on?” she exclaimed excitedly, the same person she’d always been. Nothing, not an ounce of the scare she’d had at least a year ago with Cole’s family had ever changed her.

Cole led the way to a water fountain where they had been spending most of their time in the past year. There, he surprised Madison by bending down on one knee.

“What are you doing?” Madison squealed, and then glanced behind them to see if anyone was watching. She glanced back, and her adorable face was pink with happiness.

“Maddie.” Cole grinned up at her, a changed man both outwardly and inwardly. He looked a lot more healthier, too, thanks to the three-course meals and many more hours of sleep he got every day and night. He wasn’t even an angry or bitter man anymore, but a man who had come to accept God’s will being done. Madison in his life, of course, helped immensely. “You are the sunshine in my life. I was in the dark before you came along.” He kissed her knuckles. “I never thought I could love anyone more than I love you.”

Madison giggled, gave a little bounce, and then continued studying him. “I love you, too,” she whispered.

“I know you do,” Cole added wryly. “And I’m so glad for that. All I want is to live the rest of my life making you happy, because God has led you into my life for this reason. To be with me forever.”

Madison nodded. “Yes, I think He has.” Tears welled up in her eyes.

“So, Madison?” Cole paused by taking a two-caret, miniature diamond-cut ring from the front breast pocket of his gray suit. He heard Madison’s gasp, and he held it up for her to see. “Will you do me the honor of being my wife?”

Madison was already squealing, and she nodded fiercely. “Yes,” she whispered, and then nodded again. “Yes, yes, yes!”

Laughing, Cole slid the ring onto her finger, and then stood to pick her up in his arms, off the ground, and kiss her gently and tenderly. He swung her around and around in his arms, shining with happiness all the way through. Her laughter echoed throughout the park.

Through time and tide, neither of them could think of a happier moment in their lives.

***

Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

After parking on the gravel road curb right outside the tall stone walls protecting the entire Whitworth estate, Cole studied his watch. He had twenty minutes of time left to free Madison.

He stared through the rain lightly pelting the windshield, and wondered if God was really, truly going to be right there with them. Nevertheless, Cole knew that God had brought Madison into his life for a very special reason. He was stark determined to not give up on saving Madison, no matter what he was risking in between. He loved her with all his heart. He was not going to let Addison have his way, either. Not this time.

After cutting the ignition, Cole sat there in the driver’s seat deeply in prayer about the entire situation. Then, after surrending the entire problem in God’s capable hands, he climbed out of the car, closed the door quietly, and then faced the tall stone wall. As a kid, he and his siblings had enjoyed trying to climb the walls. Addison had been the most successful in getting to the top.

Of course, those had been the days of fun and laughter before all five of the siblings would soon learn about the terrible things that came with the family company. They learned that their father had wanted them only to be heirs to the company. Over time, Cole had decided to protect his mother the best he could, and he thought for a long time that that’s what his other siblings had wanted, too. That they would go against whatever their father asked them to, and go along with the morals their mother had taught them with.

But one fall morning, during breakfast when their father was bragging a bit about the company, Cole had been shocked to learn that every one of his four siblings, especially Addison, were planning to experience life on their father’s side. Over time they went against every word that barely came out of their mother’s mouth, and learned that life would just be richer and better and safer if they never had respect for their mother again.

He needed to do this for everybody who’d lost their lives to their business. He was not going to count on anyone else except God and himself this time, and maybe Mick if he happened to change his mind.

Cole took his time climbing the wall to the other side. Then, he crawled directly over to the house wall, and then snuck low as he walked to the backyard, which was wholly consisted of a huge garden. Cole had once admired the place, and at one time or another, had actually helped his mother and sisters build everything from the big bushes and tall trees to the water fountains, statues, stone paths, and various kinds of flowers surrounding the entire backyard complex. It was a beautiful place to be, but it was also a place where many people had still died. On some of the stones of the stone paths, there was faded blood stains that were now facing the ground to, again, keep the family’s real identity hidden.

Cole knew that the basement was also a great place to keep hostages, and that was where the family had kept hostages over time. He knew that Madison would be there. Sweat pierced his skin as he continued trying to breathe as little as possible. He kept his gaze on full alert at each of his surroundings to make sure no thug caught him for trying to rescue her.

He chose the appropriate basement window. Then, Cole leaned forward, dug out the jackknife one of his late uncles had given to him when he was fifteen as a birthday present. He was relieved to see the basement window was open, since that’s the way they kept every basement window this time of year annually.

Resting on his haunches, Cole could plainly see, through the window’s screen, Madison sitting in a hardback, wooden chair, tied to it. She was by the basement’s short, curvy, cement stairwell, and he could only hope that the basement door was closed.

“Maddie,” he whispered, and then used his jackknife to cut the screen open.

Madison must have heard something, because she looked up. Relief hit her beautiful blue eyes, and her shoulders slightly drooped as if a huge burden had been lifted off her shoulders.

Cole carefully climbed through the window, easily jumping inside to the basement floor mostly cluttered with unused storage and all other sorts of stuff they hadn’t wanted over the years.

Adrenaline piped through him like a water fountain. Reaching Madison, he fisted his jackknife back into the back pocket of his dark jeans, and cradled her soft face in both of his hands.

“Are you all right?” he asked gently.

“Yes,” Madison said sweetly, but then suddenly, her eyes widened. “No—”

Cole had barely turned when Karl slammed a fist against his mouth, knocking him to the floor.

“Leave him alone!” Madison screeched as Cole got back on his feet and tried to push against Karl.

But the four thugs only laughed as if they thought he was the idiot of the family instead.

“Better luck next time,” Linus snickered, and they all helped in fisting Cole into the chair ironically opposite of Madison, and tying him up there.

“You just wait,” Karl said as they backed away from their work. A couple breathed heavily, because Cole had tried to struggle free while they’d tied him up. “Boss will be down here in no time!”

They all continued laughing as they made their way back up the stairway, closing the door behind them.

Cole could hear the sound of a deadbolt turning from the other side of the door. He sighed with stark relief, his hair messy and plain white T-shirt wrinkled from the workout. He sniffed, and then closed his eyes briefly, thanking the Lord for keeping them as safe as possible so far.

But when he heard Madison sob, his eyelids flipped open.

Madison’s face looked perfectly adorable as always, except for the fearful tears in her eyes as she gazed tenderly at him. Her honey blond curls were slightly messy from maybe trying to struggle free on the way to the basement. But as they looked at each other, she smiled gently.

“I love you,” she whispered brokenly.

Cole sat rigid, half in shock, for several moments. Then at last, he felt a grin come across his face. He cocked his head at her, and then honestly told her back, “Love ya, too.”

Madison nodded, sniffled, and then looked away. A single tear rolled down her cheek.

Cole’s grin vanished. He was determined to do whatever means necessary to keep Madison safe. So, he looked away, chewing on his bottom lip, and thought about this for a long moment.

“I went to see Mick.” He glanced up at her. “Hopefully he may come and save us before it’s too late.”

She quirked an eyebrow. “You think he might?”

Cole raised his eyebrows. “I’m counting on it. He just might be our only hope.” Through the ropes, he reached into his back pocket, with much concentration, and pulled out his jackknife.

Her brows crinkled together. “What’s the matter?”

“Trying to get free.” He gritted his teeth together. “I have a jackknife. One of my late uncles gave it to me when I was fifteen.”

“Well, that will come in handy.” Her eyes briefly shone with amusement as she watched him.

Cole smirked, despite the situation. “I’m so glad you still have some sense of humor, because I think mine left me two weeks ago.” He finally cut himself free, and then threw the rope to the side. He stood, and hurried over to get her free, too.

“What’s your plan?” Madison asked, assuming he had one.

“We go through the backyard garden, climb over the stone wall,” he explained in a low voice as he quickly cut her free and then helped her up, “and then hurry through the corn fields the neighbors have out back until we get to my car.”

“Think it will work?” she asked, her eyes so wide and expectant.

Cole couldn’t help curling a strand of hair back behind her ear. “Well, even if it doesn’t,” he said grimly, “at least I have you.” He winked at her without humor.

“And I’ll have you.” Madison wrapped her left hand within his right, and gazed at him very trustingly.

Cole studied her for a long moment. That is, until he heard shouting come about from the other side of the basement door.

“Come on,” he whispered, and led the way out of the basement window. As he helped her out, too, he noticed that the rain had turned to pouring, but he was certain it wouldn’t keep them from carrying on with their plan.

Through the garden, Cole led the way in a running pace to the far stone wall on the other side of the mansion.

“Come on!” he pushed, feeling Madison’s fingers claw into his skin at the apprehension of what might come ahead.

They were almost to the wall when Madison shrieked.

Cole froze, and followed her gaze to the short left where each of the company’s hired thugs, all four of them, were standing side by side near the wall, halfway hidden under the tall tree nearby, as if daring them to cross the wall and get away with it.

Madison clung to Cole’s side, both hands holding his left hand now, and Cole knew exactly what was coming.

“Hey!”

Cole turned sharply, and at the sight of each of the sibling Whitworths coming toward him, he immediately braced himself in front of Madison. He felt her arms curl around his waist, mostly hiding behind him. He would keep her safe until his dying minute.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Addison stopped from no more than eight or ten feet away, and then fisted a gun from out of his inner suit coat pocket.

Cole heard Madison gasp as Addison steadily held the gun to his own brother.

“Let’s just stop all this ruckus now.” Addison gave a chuckle, and the rain only seemed to pound over them harder, almost as hard as hail. “I think you and your girlfriend have come far enough, Cole.”

“Come on, Cole,” Lorraine called as she stood farther away with Jack and Emily. “Why did you have to spoil everything?”

Cole gritted his teeth angrily. “It’s not like any of you had any real help in this company as it is,” he said simply, but bitterly. “By the way, where does Dad happen to be? Hiding in his bedroom?”

“You got that right.” Addison looked only too content holding his gun at him with both hands. “Except he’s not exactly hiding. Mainly just listening for that single gunshot to end everything here and now. Then we’ll finally be able to live better lives without people who will just give stuff away. Like you.”

“The thing is, Addison,” Cole snarled. “I don’t exactly think you have the guts to kill me with your own two hands. Let’s not tell someone else to do it this time, all right? Why don’t you just do it yourself? Prove that you actually have that kind of courage.”

“Oh, I do.” Addison chuckled over the piercing thunder hitting them. “I just didn’t really want to do anything about it until now.”

“Yeah, right,” Cole huffed, and shook his head. “You don’t care about anything except yourself, Addison. All you’ve ever wanted is this entire estate to yourself, even if Dad, Lorraine, Emily, and Jack disappear without it! It’s so stupid, because after all it’s only a building. Not a home that Mom tried to make it out to be.”

“You think I even care what you say, Cole?” Addison gave out a big laugh. “About anything? You and your precious girlfriend are worthless to all of us!”

“I already know that.” Cole stiffened. He stood strong and unafraid, patient and tall in the storm, and was every bit prepared to give his soul to God if that’s what it took to prove his gumption until the end. It was something he had never tried to do with his mother, or anyone else, for that matter, who had lost their lives fighting for what they had believed in. Countless friends, extended family, neighbors, and the like. All of them had disappeared, and Cole had been unable to stop any of it. “But you’ve wanted to kill me all your life, Addison. So here’s your chance!” He extended his arms out briefly. “Get it over with.”

Addison nodded, and then cocked his gun. “Fine! I’ll kill you, then your precious girlfriend!”

“No!” Cole added sharply. “If you think about doing anything, you kill us together! That’s how it’s meant to be. You wouldn’t know what that’s like, would you, Addison? To actually know what it feels like to be loved, truly loved?”

Addison laughed. “There are more important things in life.”

“Things you don’t even know about, I bet,” Cole concluded. “All I did was respect you until everything went haywire!”

Addison stepped forward. “Cole, don’t you get that it’s all for me? For all of us, Cole, and you get none of it! None of it!”

Cole stiffened, and he leaned toward Madison’s head, his gaze still locked with Addison’s.

“Hold tight, sweetheart,” he whispered. “Hold tight, don’t ever let go, and close your eyes and pray.”

He heard Madison sob, and he hated himself for putting her through this. Putting her in danger like this, but there had been no other way.

Standing there in the rain facing his enemies, Cole silently prayed like a mad man. He stared his brother and his gun down, and the seconds only seemed to tick by.

Addison sneered. “Say goodbye,” he warned, and then raised the gun.

Cole held his breath.

But when a sudden gunshot rang out and Addison jerked violently, his eyes widening, Cole’s breath caught.

Very slowly, his breath and shoulders both shaking, Addison weakly turned around to gaze at the intruder.

Mick Whitworth stood there a few feet behind him, the rain just dripping off his skin, continuing to point the gun he’d just fired at Addison. As if knowing that his cousin was dying, he cautiously lowered his gun.

Addison glanced back at Cole with wide, horrified eyes.

“Brother,” he rasped, and then he fell to the ground.

Cole didn’t look at his brother’s body, but instead looked up to watch his siblings’ reactions as they turned around to see FBI agents behind them. Almost all in unison, Jack, Lorraine, and Emily looked back at Cole in dark question before being led out of the estate gates to the squad cars beginning to park in front of the backyard’s garden. Following them were the four thugs, Linus, Karl, Slade, and Russ, also being led in handcuffs by more FBI.

Finally, the back door of the house opened, and Byron, being led by another policeman, gazed out at Cole with haughty eyes before being nudged forward.

Cole shielded Madison with one arm. “It’s over,” he whispered, but then gazed up when Mick walked over to him.

“You all right?” Mick asked, and then a smile stretched across his weary-looking features.

“Just great.” Cole felt relief from the bottoms of his soul, and then extended his hand. “Thank you.” The sincere gratitude he felt almost made tears well up in his eyes.

Mick shook his head. “Take care of yourself.” He smirked, patted his shoulder, and then followed his team to the cars.

Cole turned back to Madison, where he gently wrapped an arm around her shivering shoulders.

“Come on,” he whispered.

He led her to the back porch, where they were protected from the continuing rain. There, he whispered, “Come here,” and pulled her into his arms.

Madison’s relieved sobs seemed to drown out the rest of the tension Cole felt. He held her tightly in his arms on that back porch, stroking her hair and whispering soothing words as he let her cry all the relief away. Their clothes were both soaked anyway.

Cole kept her face averted as he watched the police take his brother’s body away. He hadn’t exactly wanted Addison to die in the end, but for them all to just realize the mistakes they had made. But look at how it had ended, without Madison hurt. For that he knew he would be eternally thankful.

So as Madison finished crying, clinging to him in his arms like where she was meant to be, Cole felt his own tears stream down his cheeks. Finally, he praised God over and over and over.

It was over.

What Blog Posts Would You Like to See?

12 May 2020

Hello everyone,

 

I appreciate all of my followers and readers of my blog so very much! But now I am looking for some feedback, so I can base my future blog posts on that. Lately, after my month-to-month book chapters, I’ve received lots of positive feedback with that which has been super nice 🙂 Therefore, I have created a poll below. Please respond below in what you would like to see more of! I’m curious to hear your ideas 🙂 Or, if you prefer, respond in the comments! Would you like me to stick primarily to blog posts? Read a little of both blog posts and stories? Want me to post more stories? Make blog posts more exciting? Let me know below, and I promise I will try my hardest to keep an open mind on everything. Majority rules!

 

During this time of this virus seeming to stick around endlessly, we are all at home, bored, and looking for stuff to do. So if reading blog posts is your thing, tell me more of what you would like to see in blog posts! 🙂 What are your interests? What are you most interested in reading about? What topics intrigue you the most? Especially from a wannabe author like myself?

 

 

JMK~