A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

19 February 2019

Hello everyone,

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

antler1downloadleith

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

 

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

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

 

JMK~

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Writers & Personal Style~

22 January 2019

 

Hello, everyone,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

JMK~

Waiting for What You Want Most~

Waiting for What You Want Most~

14 January 2019

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

JMK~

Christmas Memories~

Christmas Memories~

23 December 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

What are your favorite Christmas memories spent with your grandparents? Did you used to bake cookies / other desserts with Grandma or Grandpa? Or do you simply remember being surrounded by them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, relinquishing the cherished memories of simply being together.

 

This holiday season will be the first Christmas without my grandmother, a wonderful lady who taught me so many things in my thirty years of life. She taught me how to work hard for what you’re most passionate about, never give up, and never stop trying. She taught me that one doesn’t have to have good looks to be successful in life; among other things. Ever since I was a little girl, I enjoyed baking with her. Saturday afternoons growing up, I’d go next door to my grandmother’s house where she had fresh baked cookies cooling on the counter, and always offered to make me some tea. She had a ton of different kinds of tea, so she always gave me my list of options of teas I could choose from. She’d always recommend one, too, and together we’d sit together at the kitchen table, and she’d look over the day’s newspaper or magazine and ask me what I was up to these days, even if she’d only seen me a few days before. My grandma always had her dark hair, no matter how old she was, short and permed perfectly. Her bifocal glasses sat at the edge of her long nose. Her hands were spotted with age, but ones that reminded me of comfort, love, and patience as she taught me how to sew images on dish towels and kneel at the foot of the bed at night before saying my prayers.

 

I’m thinking about my grandma a lot this holiday season, such as how, every year, she created little drops of fudge and divinity for her grandchildren to enjoy. My sisters and I, my parents, and as many cousins as could come, celebrated Christmas Day afternoon opening gifts that my grandmother had given to all of her grandchildren. You could tell, simply by the joy on her face, that she adored seeing the looks on her grandchildren’s faces as they opened their gifts, while being quite humble about her own gifts. My grandma put her whole heart into the spirit of Christmas, and aside from God, family meant the most to her. I so wish I could hear her laugh again, her pleasant voice, and the comfort one can have simply by being in their grandmother’s presence. I plan to one day tell my future children about her and the woman who meant so much to me. I loved her very much.

 

This holiday season, make sure you’re humble within the spirit of Christmas, that you’re more excited to give rather than receive gifts. Cherish the sweet home holiday traditions you share with your families, and study them fondly so that one day, they’ll be rigidly clear in your mind as you think upon what once was. Bake lots of Christmas cookies and candies, even if you end up having to throw some. Buy different kinds of wrapping paper. Find lots of cute little knicknacks and streams to hang around your house, aside from a simple Christmas tree. If, in your head, you’re finding excuses to not go to a certain relative’s house or to visit this person or that person – don’t think on the negative. Because Christmas is about the positive, and sharing the season of giving and sharing with those we love most.

 

Happy Holidays, everyone πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

 

 

Love & Respect, Not Hate, Prevails~

3 August 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

Imagine it’s the end of the world. Judgment Day. You’re standing in line, waiting your turn. You’re so excited you can barely stand it – FINALLY, the terrible life you endured is over, and now, you get to meet your Maker, the One Person you’ve wanted to meet your whole life long.

 

And then it’s your turn. But instantly, you realize that the Lord is not happy with you at all. He’s frowning down at you. He’s disappointed in how you lived your life, the things you did. He tells a story of how you went to church every Sunday, but you didn’t obey the Gospel. You read His Word, but you didn’t want to see the truth. The rest of the time, you disrespected the governing leaders, people of authority, and you protested every law that ever passed, laws that God had approved of.

 

Suddenly, He says to you, “Depart from me, you who practiced lawlessness,” and then, down you go. The pearly gates fade away from your sight. The last thing you see before the fire and darkness encloses over you is your Savior’s face, along the bone-deep reality that you let down the most important Person in your life. And now, it’s over, and there’s virtually nothing you can do about it.

 

I am so sick and tired of, day after day, hearing about people’s disrespect in all of the world. They disrespect and decidedly hate anyone who hasn’t let them down. They disrespect God, governing leaders, and basically anyone they downright disagree with. They don’t care what good things they may be doing for our country, the great America. But even though they don’t care or if they disagree, that doesn’t give anybody the right to throw them out of business-places, to downright disrespect them in a cruel and hateful way. The protests are more fierce than ever before. But anywhere really – It shouldn’t matter what color you are, what background you come from, whether you’re a college student or not and whether you think you’re all hip and cool. There is NO reason EVER to disrespect somebody, whether they hear you or not. There is NO reason EVER to talk badly about somebody, calling them racist or any kind of name, when you do not even know the person. If it’s somebody you know, what’s the point? To make yourself feel good about it? And wouldn’t you get mad or upset if somebody did the same to you? Really? I remember when I was a teenager, and there was a news broadcast on TV about a group of kids at some school in the States, where they were hazing another student.

 

Where has our country gone to where we think we’re obligated to think any negative opinion about somebody–anybody we want–and then we don’t think that God isn’t watching this stuff? Some of you may not care, and shame on you if you do because God will heap wrath on you for that one day, but for those who are churchgoers – do you go to church and then the next moment, protest our governing leaders and talk badly behind your back about somebody you dislike or disagree with? Whoa, that was a long sentence. Lol. But do you ever stop to think what God thinks? Did God want anybody in the Bible to treat others with hate and ridicule? Never. Therefore, He doesn’t condone it.

 

“But God is love.” Yes, God is love, but he is also angry with those who disrespect people. It doesn’t matter who that person is or what they have done. It doesn’t matter if they have hurt you or not. DISRESPECT IS NEVER CONDONED BY GOD.

 

Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

 

Isaiah 59:8 says, “They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks. They have made their paths crooked, whoever treads on them does not know peace.”

 

God condones peace – not war. That means there shouldn’t be any dissension. I don’t care what you believe or who you are – if you disrespect and show your hatred on social media, on the media, on the air – anywhere really, and you do it without true repentance before God, consequences will heap on your head one day.

 

Do you really think there won’t be consequences?

 

Psalms 37:27 shows how much God wants us to be part of His kingdom in heaven one day: “Depart from evil, and do good, so you will abide forever.”

 

Matthew 25:41 is a scary verse, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”

 

That’s a scary verse, isn’t it? All I’m doing is warning you. If you don’t want to end up that way, obey the Gospel today and turn your life around. Repent of the evil thoughts and feelings you feel toward others in your heart, because if you don’t, there will only be wrath to come. (Repentance is being sincerely sorry for a sin against God, confessing your sins before God, and meaning your apology.)

 

I’m not saying this is the only sin that’ll bring you down; it isn’t. But I’m so sick and tired of seeing so much fighting, arguing, debating, and hateful speech. One of the President’s advisors was sent home -just because she believed the same things the President does-when all she wanted to do was have a peaceful dinner at a nice place with her family. Those employees there ought to be ashamed of themselves, and I’m sure God is very angry with them for kicking that lady and her family out of that restaurant. And there are people out there cheering them on! When does the evil in this world end?? Especially when you do that very thing, and then go to church the following Sunday? Do you even think twice about what God’s opinions might be on this? He is the commander of the universe, after all, as well as our Creator. The world will end one day, and when it does, I hope and pray that all of you reading this have repented and obeyed the Gospel.

 

Please, folks. Let’s show love and respect toward others, not disrespect. It doesn’t matter what they did that you dislike or disagree with; turn the other cheek. Love and don’t hate. Don’t protest. Don’t disrespect somebody just because you disagree or dislike them. Pray for them if you do, of course, if you think that is best, but don’t go on the air or on the media where there is too much of a biased opinion. Don’t go on social media where you’ll find yourself in a constant debate, and then curse those who disagree with you. Get rid of this evil among you, this wickedness. If nothing else, rid yourself of all this negativity and be free. If nothing else, do it for your soul’s sake. The world isn’t going to end if you don’t find the next big debate on social media. The world isn’t going to end if the person you’re talking with disagrees with you – just laugh it off, agree to disagree, and don’t disrespect them. And don’t be cruel. God is the Judge, and He sees everything.

 

Don’t you want to make God happy? And don’t you want to live the kind of life that makes Him happy? He’s the one who created you, after all. I’m not saying you have to agree with all the politics going on in today’s government. Make sure it aligns with all of God’s teachings in the Bible, of course. All I’m saying is respect and love – don’t hate and disrespect. It’ll only make your life bitter and unhappy. It’s a waste of time, space, and words. It’s a waste, because there is no positivity in such manners. There is nothing as worth it in this life as serving the Lord – truly, nothing at all.

 

If you would like to comment about this, please do so. All I ask is that if you’re looking for a debate, it’ll be one-sided. I don’t debate with anybody unless they’re willing to prove from the Bible where I am wrong. If they can’t prove it, such comments will be deleted instantly.

 

If you’re looking for information on how to obey the Gospel, though, I hope I have touched your heart with this post, so I’d be happy to provide it to you. πŸ™‚

 

Have a good rest of your summer, everyone. And remember, fight for the Lord – not for worthless things that will not truly matter at the end of your life – or the end of time. Nobody is perfect, of course, so please work on this.

 

JMK~

When God Keeps Saying “No” ~

When God Keeps Saying “No” ~

6 July 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

Life is never as hard as when you desire something so badly that it brings you to your knees in prayer, every day for months and months, but God keeps saying no. A few days ago, I was thinking about the one thing on this earth that I desired both than anything. And as I was thinking about it while driving, I was in tears, bawling my eyes out, screaming out at the top of my lungs, “Why me, God??!! Of all people, why me??!!”

 

We’ve all been there, at a place in our life that brings us to our knees. When you pray and pray for something and God keeps saying no, it breaks your heart. But it’s not God breaking your heart, it’s how you viewΒ  your problem. What you want more than anything looks simply just way too far away from your grasp, but you already know how immensely happy it would make you if you had it.

 

In the Bible, a certain Biblical character named Sarah was infertile and in her old age. God literally spoke to her and promised her and her husband Abraham that in due time (God’s perfect timing), they would give birth to a son. But instead of trusting in God’s promises and in His words, Sarah decided it would be a good idea if she “helped” God out by making her servant girl, Harai, as Abraham’s concubine and conceive a child by her. Did that help the situation? No. Did that bring about God’s promises or answered prayers? No. In fact, it made the situation even worse.

 

Another example of the terrible idea it is to “help” God answer your prayers, is like the story my husband likes to tell me sometimes. Before I came into his life, he longed and desired for a wife. Without realizing it, he tried to “help” God along by asking friends if they knew any good Christian single women. He wasn’t desperate, by any means, but he was ready to settle down. The situation didn’t go so well, so then, he decided that enough was enough. He was going to leave it up to God and prayed that His will be done. Sure enough, in a few months time, I came along, and the rest is history. Now we’ve been happily married for almost 5 years.

 

When you’re frustrated, angry, sad, and heartbroken, the last thing you want to do is stop thinking about your problem. Right? All you want to do is bury yourself in a dark place, cry yourself to sleep, and be completely miserable for a good long while. Right? But what if I told you that there is true peace, comfort, and satisfaction in the Lord when we turn everything over to Him? When God says “no”, it really means that it is not yet His timing for your problem to disappear. It is not yet His timing for the deepest desires of your heart, something you’ve prayed about for so long, to be fulfilled. Just like Paul in the Bible, when he prayed that God might take away the figurative thorn in his side, God replied that His grace was sufficient, that His power was perfected in man’s weaknesses. When you are heartbroken and grieving and you feel like you just can’t wait any longer for that one thing you keep constantly praying for, remember that God is with you. He is with you and He loves you deeply. He is the one who created you, and He understands you better than you even realize. He understands the hurt and pain you deal with; He’s done it all himself. Jesus Himself carried all of our burdens on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. It was by His sacrifice that we are here today, that salvation is freely ours if we truly want it.

 

The next time God says “no”, it’ll be really, really hard to accept. Believe, I’ve been there, and I’m still a work progress to this day. I’m still working on getting my trust in God absolutely perfect. It’s a daily process and struggle. But listen, you can’t receive any blessing at all in Christ UNLESS you let it all go and let God handle it. Don’t try to “help” God out by trying to do the leg work for Him, or try to speed up the process of you receiving that blessing. That’s what the devil wants you to do. This also shows great distrust and disloyalty toward God. When you’re trying to help Him, you’re not really trusting Him, you’re not really believing His words that He is your stronghold and help in all kinds of times of trouble. He is our truest friend, and nothing is impossible with Him. Believe that today, my friends. When life gets tough – and it will get tough – the best thing to do is to pray hard about it, but then don’t keep holding onto your problems, fears, worries, etc. Just let it all go. Give it all to God. Pray that His will be done in these circumstances. And then, great peace and comfort will envelop your soul, and you will feel, from the depths of your heart, that you can do anything, because God is with you. Not only that, but in God’s own good timing, He WILL answer your prayers and it WILL be great. Maybe He won’t answer your prayers in a way that you initially imagined, but how He answers will be even better than you ever imagined. You’ll be that much more thankful, too.

 

I know it’s hard, and it’s not something easy that happens overnight. I personally feel like I’ve been waiting on my dreams forever and ever. But I have complete trust in God now that whatever His will is will prosper, and will make me happier than I ever could’ve imagined. He will make a way when there seems to be no way, and He will answer your prayers with a yes – once again, maybe not exactly what you wanted, but even better!

 

My parents have a sheep ranch, and have so for 18 years. They breed their sheep ewes (aka female sheep) every year. Now the lambs that are born are important. We love the sheep ewes. They’re like your pets, and you raise those mamas and watch them grow up and now that they are mamas, you’re excited for them once they become pregnant. There was this one ewe on this particular year, whose name was Harmony. She was a good ewe, and on the year before this, she had a healthy baby boy. Boys are not as important as girls, not because we don’t love them – because we do – but because we only use them for the 4-H county fair. But they have to be castrated for that and after the summer was over, we have no choice but to sell them. It can be kind of a rough business in that light. But having girls are more important, because you can raise them completely and start breeding them in two years.

 

So anyway, my sheep ewe, Missy, died after giving birth to a stillborn lamb, as well as another lamb who only lived a couple days. It was heartbreaking for me. Then, a few days later, Harmony gave birth to two stillborn GIRLS. It was absolutely heart-wrenching and at that time, I had such difficulty in trusting in God and understanding why He had let such a terrible thing happen. I was so fearful that we were going to lose our whole flock, or the majority of the lambs. Even half of the lambs. I was just terrified, really. But then, someone told me something very important that made me do a complete 180. He told me that whether it was God’s will for us to lose the entire flock of sheep or lambs or to only lose some of them, it was up to God and His choice. Which, for some people, might make them angry. They may think to themselves, “How can a loving God do such a thing?” But when I heard this, it didn’t make me angry. Instead, it made me incredibly guilty for doubting God’s goodness in my life. It made me realize that what I wanted more than anything at that time wasn’t up to me, but the Creator of the Universe. In the end, it really didn’t matter what any of us did to help the situation. God’s will had to be done no matter what. Just like now, for example, there’s so much evil in the world today and people always find someone to blame. They even blame God. But they shouldn’t even be mad at God. Why? Because God is a god! Not just a god, he’s THE GOD. And He’s the one who created not just us, but every human being, creature, and plant that’s ever lived on this earth! He even cares about the tiniest ant and their families. Now how cool is that!

 

So if God cares so deeply for us, shouldn’t we give it all to Him and surrender our lives to Him in serving Him? Aside from our needs, we can still pray for what we want, but ultimately, God’s will has to rule. Whether it’s God’s will for you to be a chef or a banker, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Whether God wants you to have a baby through conception or adoption, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Whether God wants you to live in Arizona or Maine, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Your job is pretty simple, really. You just need to pour your heart out to God in prayer, do your part in it as well as you can, such as sending our resumes, researching whatever you need to do, etc. But don’t help God. Don’t step into something with both feet without completely praying about it first, to make sure it aligns perfectly with God’s will. Then, let it all go and surrender it over to God. Not only that, but TRUST God with the outcome. Whatever He plans for us is always good (Romans 8:28), and He always comes through for us. ALWAYS.

 

I hope this blog post gave you encouragement, and I hope it will give you something to think about. Feel free to comment below to share your own stories! πŸ™‚

 

JMK~

The Art of Contentment

15 June 2018

Hello everyone,

 

Are you ever at the grocery store, at the movies, etc and you overhear people complaining? And don’t you just wonder to yourself why they are complaining? I mean, even I complain about stuff. But if there’s one thing I try my hardest not to complain about are the blessings that God has blessed me with. And that’s what I’m here to talk to you about today.

 

I don’t watch the news anymore, because it’s far too much negativity. People killing themselves because they don’t have God in their lives and they’re not grateful for the blessings God has given them. The media complaining about the President that half the country didn’t vote for, when they should learn to be respectful of all people no matter what. The media complaining about anything. Politicians and celebrities saying or doing this or that that was shocking and apparently newsworthy. I’m sickened about all of that. Complain, complain, complain.

 

Let me tell you, if the majority of our world, or society in general, learned to be content with what they have and learn to follow God like they should, we wouldn’t have as many problems and misled people. We wouldn’t have a bunch of complainers we’re surrounded with. And it’s ironic, too, that a lot of things that they complain about in their lives they have actually wanted/hoped for/prayed for at one time in their lives. Now, hmm, suddenly that changes?

 

  • Don’t complain about your God, for He was the one Who created you and your loved ones and made you into a beautiful person, Who gave you all your hobbies and loved ones and people in your life. You should be extremely grateful to Him every day for all these blessings in your life, for it is actually only if we are thankful for what we already have do we receive more blessings.
  • Don’t complain about your job, because you need it to supply your income. Without income you wouldn’t be able to put food on the table, pay your bills, and buy stuff. It provides security for you and your household, and is a blessing.
  • Another blessing is your spouse. Actually, this should be #2 on your list that you’re thankful for blessings (#1 being God). Remember when you were in high school or college and the only single person among all of your friends, and how you longed for, in the deepest recesses of your heart, for someone to share your home with? And now you’re complaining how your husband or wife never does this or that, blah blah blah? Really? Don’t forget about everything your husband or wife DOES do to you, and how much they love you. Don’t forget how they always treat you right and how you’re #1 in their life. Spouses are a huge blessing. I should know – I married one πŸ™‚
  • Don’t complain about your children and everything they do or don’t do. Try to be the best parents that you can and raise them right, but don’t wish that you never had children or that it wouldn’t be so hard. There are hundreds of infertile couples all over the world who would KILL to be in the same position that you’re in. Don’t forget that. Children are a blessing, more than you can ever imagine.
  • Don’t complain about your family, for there are lots of folks out there in the world who don’t have family at all. Families are a blessing.
  • Don’t complain about your friends, for God sees and knows everything, and along with talking bad about everyone else in your life, you will stand before the Lord on that one day. Friends are a blessing, but if they are thorns in your sides, then maybe it’s time that you find some better and truer friends. Friends should always make time for you and be by your side. They should encourage you and want to be around you all the time. That’s how one knows they have true friends.
  • Don’t complain about the food that you eat, the water you drink, the places you go. There are lots of people in the world who don’t have such luxuries. The right thing to do is to be thankful for the food that you’re eating, which is something I had to learn from a young age. Even if you don’t like the food, eat it anyway and be thankful that God has richly blessed you in supplying it to you.

Overall, folks, just be content. Be content with what you have and you can never go wrong. True contentment, though, is found through being a follower of Christ. Believe, repent, confess and be baptized for the remission of sins. Follow God and His unique plan and will for your life. It will change your life. It will make you into a better and stronger human being. And, for the love of all that is good and great, please just stop complaining so much. People don’t like to hear it anyway.

 

Be content. Be thankful. And be good to others. ~ That, after following God, is the answer to true and lasting happiness.~

 

JMK~