Monthly Archives: January 2012

Goals for February

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If you have read this blog for awhile, then you might can guess what this post is about. I’ll give you a hint: it’s the last day of January.

That’s right! I’m thinking of goals for February. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing that this may have been a predictable post!

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I basically have two goals for February:

  1. Lose 1 pound per week. At the end of February, I should be down 8 lbs. This makes me very excited, and it will serve to motivate me throughout the month.
  2. Get a ton of writing done. As I announced yesterday, I’m writing a novel. As of right now, I have about 6,000 words. By the end of the month, I hope to have around 20,000. Maybe I can have this puppy done by the end of March! Then I get to start the process of shopping it to publishers….yipeeeeeeeeeee. Oh well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

What are your goals for this month?

A New Adventure

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“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” -Benjamin Franklin

What a perfect way to describe my thoughts for the day. I came across this inspiring quote on a fellow blogger’s website.

Today, I’m going to share my new adventure with you guys. As I prepare to type the words that will follow this sentence, I am shaking in my boots. Like a mouse walking into a cat’s house party.

I’m kinda, sorta writing a book.

This idea has been bouncing around in my head for some time. In fact, I actually tried to write one in November during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but I got really busy with subbing and life. At that point in time, I was not fully committed to the idea. But, I am now.

I had fantasized about adding this to the top of my New Year’s resolutions, but I still fought the urge to actually write it down. Because when I write it down, it becomes real. It is something that I have to do.

In addition to this news, most of my upcoming blog posts will focus on writing and what I discover while writing. The plan is to focus my blog down to a more narrow topic, which I hope will make it more appealing to my readers.

What is one thing that you want to do but are too scared to write it down?

Faith, Family, & Focus Series (Part 3)

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This is Part 3 in a three part series, titled “Faith, Family, & Focus.” Visit here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

As I sit down to write this post on focus, my mind is running in three different directions. I claim to be a multitasking expert, but I always seem to be going through the house like a chicken with its head cut off. I can’t remember anything! I’m just lucky that I’m a list person because I would be so lost otherwise. As a matter of fact, I just got up and did something else right before I wrote this sentence. (No, it wasn’t to go to the bathroom…I was playing laser tag with my cats!)

I’m terrible at focus.

I want to fix that.

So, next week (Jan 30-Feb 3), I am going to work on improving my focus. I want you to join me.

I will try to focus my posts on…focus. But because I don’t want you to feel like you got jipped out of Part 3 of the series, I will offer some points here about focus:

  • We focus on what matters to us. Ouch…this one hurts. If we focus on Twitter and Facebook, then that’s what matters to us. If we focus on TV, then that matters. If we focus on food, then that matters.
  • We are jerks. When we ignore what is important, then we automatically become jerks. Don’t let those materialistic things distract you or disrupt your focus.

Simply put, we need to daily remind ourselves to focus on what is important: faith, family. Not how many people we have lunch with this week.

How do you focus on what matters most?

Faith, Family, & Focus Series (Part 2)

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This is Part 2 in a three part series, titled “Faith, Family, & Focus.” Visit here for Part 1 and tomorrow for Part 3.

It seems like everyone has jumped on the Courageous bandwagon. So, if you’re tired of reading about it, then you are free to visit a different blog today. 🙂 (But only for today…you have to come back tomorrow) I watched the movie the other night, and it is a refreshing look at family.

In life, bad things are going to happen. Tough, but true. You can spend your life hiding from it (like that movie Blast from the Past, where the family goes underground in the 60s to avoid nuclear blowout and doesn’t emerge until the 90s). But that wouldn’t be very fun.

If you hide, you miss out. That’s the simple truth. If you hide your emotions, then you miss out on the joy you feel when something goes well.

But if you interact and engage, you have experiences that carry on with you throughout your lifetime. You get memories. You get mental photographs. You get audio running through your thoughts.

In the movie, the dads decide to play an active role in their family’s lives. Instead of settling for normal, they go extreme. Extreme as in:

  • Talking
  • Interacting
  • Running with their kids
  • Taking their daughters out to dinner
  • Sharing special moments with their families
  • Praying with their families
  • Reading the Bible with their families

 If you think this is not extreme, then good. You are doing it right.

Click the picture below to grab a copy of the movie:

Faith, Family, & Focus Series (Part 1)

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This is Part 1 in a three part series, titled “Faith, Family, & Focus.” Visit here tomorrow for Part 2 and Friday for Part 3.

Have you ever watched a brick mason work? Whenever I pass by a house that is being bricked, I’m always amazed at how quickly these people work. Their movements flow effortlessly, as if they are putting pieces of a puzzle together. They give no indication of the exhaustion that occurs from spreading the mortar, then laying the brick down, and repeating the process over and over.

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The other day I was thinking about how bricklaying is like faith. There are basically three phases of the bricklaying process:

  •  Corners- Did you know that bricklayers start their work by bricking the corners of a house first? (Link to source) The corners are often the most difficult phase of bricking, and they like to dedicate the most effort to getting it done right.

In life, our “corners” are when we first start to believe. God builds these difficult parts first, so He can get to work on the front, sides, and back of the “house.”

  • Faces- When brick masons get the corners done, then the real magic happens. This is the part that I marvel over. They become like a well-oiled machine.

I think of this phase as the everyday, humdrum of life. We get in our routines. We do the same things over and over and over again. We become the quickly constructed face of a house.

  • Cosmetic- This is the most tedious phase of bricklaying. All those little nooks and crannies have to be filled with mortar, but it has to be just the right amount or you have to start over again.

This is where God really starts to work us over. He fixes us. But you know why He does it here at the cosmetic stage?

Because we need the corners and faces to be built already.

Faith is one of those concepts that has varying definitions based on who is trying to explain it. You could quite possibly get hundreds of different answers to the question, “What is faith?”

My favorite verse on faith is Hebrews 11:1: “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”

Today, I hope you allow God to work on the “cosmetic part of your house.” Trust Him to do the touch ups and fill the gaps. Have faith that He can lay the bricks. 

Are You Sure I Have the Right Blog?

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I know what you are thinking…the last post was not what you wanted. I do apologize for that, but it’s part of a learning process. In reading “31 Days to Your Blogging Mojo,” I have been discovering things about this blog that I didn’t know were there to be discovered. So, I’m doing my best to make it better every day. One way to do that was to give just a brief overview post. This lets new readers see what’s going on, plus it’s something that I can use for reference in the future.

Anyways, today’s post is different than the norm as well. This isn’t the books fault…just my own idea. I’m introducing a new series.

Faith. Family. Focus.

3 words for 3 days of posting. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. (Sidebar: I get to write all this content tomorrow because I’ll be out of town Thursday and Friday. Yay for long days of writing!) I’m going to assume you are smart enough to figure out the days of the posts…given that they are written like they will appear. 🙂

So get ready America! These posts are going to blow your socks off. If you’re wearing them. Which I assume you are. Because it’s January. Only in the South it feels like Spring. Never mind. This has got to be an English teacher’s nightmare. Which is weird because I am part English teacher if you think about it.

Oh darn you iced coffee…