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Our stories and how they impact us

I keep finding myself being encouraged to tell my story. I love to write about things that I am passionate about. This blog has been an outlet for writing about things I am passionate about.

Angie Mizzell lives in Charleston with her family and she recently helped to produce a show called “Listen to your mother”.

I love to read Angie’s blog. Angie has the ability to keep it real. I love to hear about her family and the different parts of her story that she shares. Here is something that Angie shares about Listen to your Mother

That got me thinking about our everyday life, and what we choose to reveal about ourselves. Maybe the reason we don’t open up and share more of who we really are is because it doesn’t feel safe. We’re afraid of judgment and ridicule. As I observe the harsh interactions that happen on blogs and social media, and even face-to-face sometimes—I believe the fear of speaking our truth is valid.”

I believe that Angie is right on target with this assessment of why people are hesitant to share their stories. Maybe that is one of the reasons I have not opened up Pandora ’s Box and shared my story.

Here is another quote from Angie.

Telling our stories is always a risk. Sometimes, we’ll get the wind knocked out of us when our stories aren’t respected or they are used against us. But we need to tell them anyway. We need to let people see us, and know us.”

Maybe one of the reasons that I have not decided to share my story is because I would rather leave those memories locked down tight and the thought of revisiting them is something I would rather not entertain. People being able to identify with my story and get something positive out of it is something I need to wrap my head around.

Over the next couple of days, weeks and months I will venture into the unknown and start to share bits and pieces of my story and see what happens. At very least , my sharing those pieces of my story, may serve to provide me with some healing and freedom from the past.

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Seasons

I was reminded this weekend of how important time is.  We mark time by different seasons in our life.  Most of the time when we think of seasons we think of the four seasons of the calendar year.  Those seasons are Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  Each one of those seasons brings with it something unique that reminds us of that time of year, and why we either love it or dislike it.  For instance, I am not too fond of Summer because it is just so miserably hot.  Once the temperatures start creeping beyond 90 F I find myself staying inside more and outside less.  The only time I do not mind sweating is when I am at the gym.  The rest of the time I do not care to.

We only have so much time here on this earth.  I believe that our allotment of time is given to us by our creator God and that it is our responsibility to use it as we will.  We can either use it productively or we can waste it away with frivolous activities.  As I said earlier, I was reminded of this because one of our members of our men’s life group is in the ICU at one of our local hospitals.  His precious wife woke up early Sunday morning to find her spouse not responding.  Thankfully through CPR and modern medicine they were able to bring him back and is now in ICU fighting for his life.  Why is it that it takes things like this to remind us of how precious life is?  Maybe we just assume that we will have another tomorrow when the reality of it is that we may not.

Seasons brings change.  Some of those changes are good, some are bad.  Some changes bring life and some brings death.  Some of those changes we have no control over like the seasons I described above.  Some things in our lives we do have control over such as how will I spend this 24 hours.  In a 24 hour period I get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep.  That leaves me 16 hours for the rest of the day and 8 of those I spend at work.  That leaves me 8 hours to do with as I will.

Just this week one of my blogging friends described how she intentionally went through a digital detox.  She intentionally stayed away from social media because she realizes how much time she wastes with it.  How many of us can admit to the same thing?  How many hours have  I wasted on Facebook mindlessly scanning my time line to read this and that.  How much of the information I get from my Facebook timeline is a total waste of time?  Probably more than I would like to admit.

One of the things I have decided to do is to go through my Facebook friends list and take a hard look at who I am communicating with and why.  How many of my FB Friends actually communicate with me in a meaningful way?  Out of 462 supposed friends I have about 25 or 30 people that I either know in real life or have been communicating with online for quite some time.  All of those people are now in my Close Friends list and those are the people that I will be communicating with when I post to Facebook.  The rest of the people I moved to the acquaintance list and I unchecked the “follow on time line” so I do not see their posts.  I still have some folks that are not in the close friends list that I will chose to post to my time line because they have something interesting to say.  For the most part I have cut out all the endless drivel about politics and religion.  Some folks are just super obsessed with their view points and I have consumed way too much of it.  I have found that the overload of information about several topics has just affected me in a negative way.  It is time to cut back I believe.

Now that I am going to do less mindless following of my FB timeline I will have time to read books, write in our blog and reconnect with family and friends.  When I say reconnect I mean to reconnect the old fashioned way.  I am going to learn how to pick up the phone and call people.  I might even write a letter or two and drop them in the mail box.  How absolutely wonderful could that be? Would you like to have a pen pal?  If so, hit me up and we can do that.

I also plan on spending more time finding my Happy Places.  I spend some time down the street from our house at a place where I can pull off the road and see the Stono river.  It is relaxing to unplug from social media and enjoy nature.  It is nice to listen to the water lap against the rocks and watch the birds.  The locals like to come out to fish and catch crabs.  Sometimes I like to shut my eyes and just listen and catch a nap.  A small season to relax and enjoy some me time.  A slice of time and a place to reflect on what matters the most.

Do you struggle with things in your life that are a huge waste of time?  How do you deal with it?  I would love to hear from you dear reader.

 

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Check out Write On Wednesday–A Writers Roundtable

One of the blogs I love to follow is Becca’s Byline

Today, Becca writes about what it means to be a writer.  I thought that it might be a good place for me to do some reflection, and to answer the 5 important questions about writing.

Write on Wednesday – A Writer’s Roundtable  talks about the following 5 W’s of writing.

Who —-> How do you identify yourself as a writer?  Is it something you do for self-fulfillment, do you have a message to impart, do you write to make a living and is that different from other writing you do?

Most of my writing is on our Christ and Family oriented blog here.  Yes, I do it for self fulfillment.  I do it to make a connection with other people who are of like mind and spirit.  In the past, I have written some articles and stories that were published and I got paid for them.  To me though, that takes most of the fun out of writing. 

What—> What is your line?  What subjects or themes do you return to again and again?  What do you  want to explore  and impart to others in your writing?

My tag line comes from a quote I read in a book on compassion by Chuck Swindol.  People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Most of the time I write about our faith in Christ, family living, technology and personal self defense.  I want to share my life experiences with others in the hope that they will be encouraged. 

Where—>  Nuts and bolts, here.  Do you  write at home, in an office cubicle, the library or neighborhood coffee shop?  or all of the above!

I write at home at my desk or at a local coffee shop.  I have been known to take a lunch break at the office and write about something that I am passionate about during that moment. 

When—>  Do you write on a regular schedule?   Do you find it necessary  or important to sit down  at the same time every day?  Or does your life dictate that you write whenever and wherever you can find the time and inspiration?

I write when I have the time to write.  I would love to write more but my busy schedule does not allow me to do this.  Between church, family, work and school I do not have much time for recreational writing.  I love to write when I feel inspired or passionate about a subject. 

Why—>  Why write?  The answer comes from the “who” you are as a writer, but also asks you to consider the importance of the written word in our world today and for the world tomorrow.

My writing really took off for me back when my daughter Jessica was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and two aggressive forms of cancer.  My pastor at that time told me that writing through my grief experience was good therapy.  I guess some folks talk about grief, I chose to write about it. 

I believe that the written word is powerful and has the power to either build people up or tear them down.  I believe that it has the power to encourage people and to give them hope.  I want to be the type of writer that encourages people to make it through the tough times in life.  I want to encourage people to lean on God who loves them more than they will ever know. 

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Random thoughts on a rainy day

jcm121010 

I have several friends that blog every single day.  It amazes me that they find the time to blog about something different every day.  It is not that I do not have the material to write something every day, but I do not find myself motivated to write in my personal blog that often.  I am one of those writers that likes to be inspired by a life event, and that gets the motor running, and then I can fire up the keyboard and write like a mad man.   The problem with my being inspired to write means that if I have not written for a long period of time, I find myself writing a book instead of a blog post.  The blog post can take up many paragraphs, and on several occasions, I have been encouraged to write shorter posts.  

One of the courses I am taking at Trident Technical College this semester is English Composition 101 which is the second English Composition class that is required for a degree program.   I love to write and I feel that I do a fair job at it.  Taking this course is reminding me of several things.  Writing is an art and that art has to be perfected over time.  In this class I have several readings that I must read , and then generate a “post” about the reading , in order to engage other students in a meaningful conversation.   My posts have turned into 5 or 6 paragraphs and I found out that the instructor only requires 5 to 7 well formed sentences.   This reminded me of the fact that I am just too long winded.   Having used Twitter for the last two years has helped me to be more concise with my thoughts and words.  Being too wordy and screwing up punctuation or lack thereof, has gotten me into some editing sessions with my instructors.  

So with that said I still love to write, and I do have things that I like to say through my writing.  I think that in 2011 I will try to learn how to write shorter blog posts and be more concise with what I say, and practice using proper punctuation and grammar.   Maybe I can figure out how to find topics that I can write about in my every day happenings.   Little short blog posts that are meaningful but that do not take forever to read.  Hopefully my readers can help encourage me towards doing that.  

 

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