Haven’t Forgotten About You

I know I haven’t written in a long time, but don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ve been very busy and haven’t had time to myself; when I have found time I didn’t know what to write. I am still not sure what to write, but I want you to know I haven’t forgotten about this blog or all my fellow travelers. It’s been challenging as of late and I haven’t had any brilliant inspiration as of late either.

I do have a few things to share, but I want to at least make it through the next couple of weeks before I devote a bunch of much-needed time to this blog and to all of you. I guess I’ll leave you with a few teasers per se.

  • I have taken a photo of where I work since the remodel (at least our cookie side is remodeled) and will take a before of the ice cream side soon.
  • I’m still fighting some inner demons, but feeling a bit better.
  • My spiritual side is still in a bit of turmoil, but maybe it’s because I’m going through another “Dark Night of the Soul.”
  • think I’m losing weight as some of my clothes are getting a bit big on me (I haven’t weighed myself recently).

Well, there you have it; there are a few things that are coming to mind and that I will try to touch upon in the next few weeks.

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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You Thought You Won; April Fools! I’ve Risen

If Jesus were alive today, Easter Sunday, I believe this is what He might have joked. “You thought you won; April Fools! I’ve risen as I promised!” 😀 I just have a hunch that Jesus has a sense of humor; I don’t know if He’s as puny as I am, but if He is this is a great joke!

Today is April Fool’s Day and Easter Sunday this year. Death has not won; Jesus has risen from the dead just as He promised. No one believed this, that is until (Saint) Mary Magdalene came back from the garden and tomb where Jesus had been laid. She was the first person to see Jesus alive; however, she thought He was the gardener and demanded to know “where’d [he] put Jesus’ body?!” It wasn’t until Jesus called her by name that she recognized Him. Jesus then instructed her to return to the Upper Room where they had the Last Supper and inform the others He had risen just as promised.

I have to wonder if this had happened to me and I had seen Jesus first and ran back to tell the others, would they have believed me? Would I have believed it myself? I have to wonder. I just wonder this because I seem to have this idea that because most of Jesus’ disciples were men and women were not regarded as highly as men, would I have been laughed out of the room? Or because Jesus hung around “outcasts” does this mean His disciples would have actually treated (Saint) Mary Magdalene as an equal and believed her? I do know that two disciples ran to the tomb after she had told them of Jesus’ resurrection; they found the tomb just as she described, but did not find Him. At last Jesus appears before them, but (Saint) Thomas (or “Twin”) is not there (no one says where he was or why he wasn’t there). Anyway, I’m jumping ahead a week. Let’s just rejoice in the fact that Jesus has indeed risen and fooled the whole world by conquering sin and death!

Happy, blessed Easter everyone! Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Clean Me, Jesus!

At the Last Supper, which we remember today (Holy Thursday), Jesus took a towel and wash basin and pitcher of water to wash the feet of all 12 of His disciples. After explaining to (Saint) Peter (Simon) why He was doing this, (Saint) Peter expressed for Jesus to clean him all over. Jesus refused saying that this cleansing was to be saved (salvation) and therefore (Saint) Peter only needed his feet washed.

For as long as I can remember from about seventh grade until fairly recently, my family would always attend the services from Holy Thursday through (and including) Holy Saturday. Every Holy Thursday my mom and I would say that we would never have our feet washed. She claimed it was because she didn’t want people seeing how ugly her feet are (I have to admit they’re not the prettiest, but that’s beside the point). Daddy was the only one to ever have his feet washed and the first time he did it Mom and I were very surprised! The last time he did was one year before he passed away. I never went because I felt this act was more than just a ritual. It means something more! I have always believed that by having your feet washed it really means what Jesus said, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (John 13:8). He also did this to establish the priesthood and to show to be the greatest means becoming a servant to all. For these reasons, I refrained from having my feet washed. It wasn’t until fairly recently I’ve realized what it means to be a servant leader and to be humble like this. I can assure you if I ever make it to another Holy Thursday service, I will humbly allow my feet to be washed.

Tonight, Holy Thursday, before bed I will be praying this simple prayer I have just made up on the spot (feel free to use it yourself, but give me credit if you don’t mind):

❤ Clean me, Jesus! I desire to be one with You. I willingly give You permission to use me as Your servant leader. I humbly bow before You tonight and offer my service to You and for You! Clean me, Jesus, so that I may fully serve You more faithfully and others in Your Name! Amen! ❤

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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There’s a Traitor Among Us

Imagine everyone’s horror when Jesus told them that a traitor was among them. “How could anyone betray the Son of God?!” they must have murmured. “Jesus would never allow a traitor to be a part of our group! If indeed He is the Chosen One, then He would know who the traitor is and never have allowed him in in the first place!”

Today, Holy Wednesday, is the day when Judas Iscariot spied to see when would be the opportune time to hand Jesus over to the religious leaders. He was seduced by the devil and made to think this would bring him fortune beyond his wildest dreams! Holy Wednesday, for this reason is called Spy Wednesday.

Let us pray we do not have a traitor in our groups that we hang out with; hopefully we are all friends and working together for a common good.

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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By Whose Authority?

Authority is a strange thing. You have it or you don’t; you give it or you get it. Today, Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus is stopped by the religious leaders of His time on His return trip from the temple yesterday. They want to know “By whose authority are you able to do these things?” Jesus, in my opinion, was a bit of a Mr. Smartypants and decided to answer with a question of His own. He asks them where His cousin, (Saint) John’s baptisms came from: heaven or human origin? The leaders were afraid to answer Jesus one way or another because either answer would put blame on them; instead they told Him they “don’t know.” Since they could not answer Him, Jesus refuses to answer their question.

Today while I was driving to work, I too questioned Jesus. “By whose power do I do these things? Who gave me the authority to be leader?” My answer came back, and nearly identical to a scene in a story (fan fiction) I wrote many years ago. “You wouldn’t have this power if it weren’t given to you from someone else.” I continued to talk with Jesus. “Of course! Thayne gave me this power –” “Yes, but did he give it to you on his own?” “Well, yeah! He’s the owner of –” “But, he was guided.” I nodded; of course he was. I’m sure he prayed about giving me authority and leadership at work. Then my thoughts shifted to another topic.

“I love You, Jesus!” I prayed. “I love you, too!” I started singing (in my head mind you). “I don’t care who you are, what you did…” My singing trailed off and soon I heard Jesus. “That song fits Me, too you know.” I smiled. “Yeah, I guess You’re right; I never realized that before. You know who else it fits?” That was a stupid question; of course He does. “Steven!” I said cheerfully. “Steven doesn’t care what I did in the past or who I was, etc. He loves me no matter what. Always has and says he always will!” At that moment I turned into the parking lot at work. “Oh, Steven, I’m sorry I have to leave so much. I miss you; you know I’d love to be home with you right now.” Then I felt a reassuring hug around my upper body (something I’ve only felt a couple of times before) and I knew I was physically alone in my car. “Don’t worry; I’ll protect you both. He knows you love him; one day things will be different. You’ll see.” I smiled slightly. “I trust you, but I still say, I hope You’re right.” I then wiped the tear from my eye and exited my car. “Well,” I sighed, “here goes another day.”

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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A House of Prayer

Today, Monday of Holy Week, is the day when (at least according to Scripture) Jesus overturned the money changers’ tables in the temple. I’m partially surprised at this action and yet, partially not.

Most people think of Jesus as a gentle, kindhearted, and not easily angered man. It took me a while to realize that some times even the best of us can get angry. If provoked to a certain point or because of something very specific: a cause, topic, etc. any of us can get angry. I know a few things that can really make me irate. One topic is right to life, but I’m not getting into my trigger topics. For Jesus a point that made Him very irate was money changers were making a profit (perhaps immorally) on selling items in the temple area. He tells them, quite angrily I might add, that the temple is to be a house of prayer and they’ve made it into a place for thieves.

While I think on this I’m reminded of how we should treat our places of worship, be it a synagogue, a mosque, a cathedral, or just a small church. It should be a place where all can worship, find peace, and take time out of the otherwise chaotic world we live and work in. Just about any place can be a place of worship, too. Lately, my car has become my place of worship. I have kept my radio off, or at least turned way down low. I spend my days when traveling to and from work in silence or conversing with God. I don’t have a lot of time to myself as of late and this is my slice of — dare I say it — heaven on earth! It has become my house of prayer (even if it is just a car).

Where can you find your house of prayer? Is it really the same as a stereotypical house of prayer (like the synagogue, mosque, cathedral, etc. that I mentioned earlier)? Is it, like mine, your car? Maybe it’s your bedroom. Wherever it is, I pray you find and make time to be with God for some time all to yourself and free from distractions!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Welcome to Holy Week 2018

I know I’ve been gone a long time! But now that I’m back let me welcome you to Holy Week 2018!

This year is a bit harder to deal with than most Easters. This year every single day on the calendar (not counting holy days perhaps) lines up with 2007 and 2007 was by far the hardest year for me yet. I don’t think I need to explain for the umpteenth time that 2007 was the year my life changed as I knew it!

Holy Week has always had a special place in my life. Holy Week marks the last week of Jesus’ earthly life and a lot of mystery surrounds it. I’ve been fascinated by the events and always tried to pick it apart both theologically and historically. This year I plan to actually take time to read or view devotionals about it and research what I can about it historically. I want to learn all that I can so that by Easter I will feel relieved and able to fully appreciate the great mystery. (I just love mysteries anyway!)

So join me this Holy Week and let’s see what we can discover! 😀

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Seven Years Went Under the Bridge

Today’s a bittersweet anniversary; I’ve worked for Nestle Toll House/Haagen-Dazs for 7 years today! I really should be happy since it’s the longest I’ve held any job and I’ve made lots of new friends and people smile, but at the same time this company or job was supposed to have been just a stopping point until something else came along. I was looking (and sort of still am) for a career in either animation or corporate communication. I also was trying to make C & S Productions a huge success so I’d never have to leave home again. In my opinion, this is a bittersweet day indeed and I think I’ve proven my point.

When I first started it was almost all fun. I suppose it was because it was something new; I’d never worked in a food industry type environment before and I also was discovering that I could in fact bake granted all that was required was placing cookie pucks on a cookie sheet and pressing a couple of buttons on an oven. I also had always wanted a job in the mall; I always thought it’d be cool to work, get a meal, and shop all in the same place! I didn’t realize how stressful it could (and did) become! I learned how to dip cones in chocolate, put sprinkles on some, nuts on others, and cookie crunch on others. It was fun!

My dreams kind of got tainted when learning how much work went into all this and people started getting themselves into trouble for various things. A customer complained about a fly on her cookie, a coworker said he couldn’t come into work because he was stranded on the side of a highway, money ended up missing, and on and on things would come. Eventually, the idea of coming to work seemed more stressful. There were people who would shoplift at various stores around us and be arrested in front of our store. Someone would not show up for a shift once in a while, blame would be passed from person to person, meetings became only about the sales goals and not team building, and contests seemed rigged (the same person would win every contest every time). I had enough!

By my third year, I left to find something better, but I stayed on payroll. When I returned I found no one would do his/her work; the store looked ransacked and no one cared. I was full of energy again and brought back excitement and enthusiasm! Eventually things picked up again and we had fun. Not everyone was back from the first time; some had been fired, others left on their own accord, and some went away to college/university and never returned. We also had a new owner and I wasn’t exactly thrilled at first with him. By the end of my third year, a few more people had been fired or moved on and I had left just before becoming a shift leader because again I thought I could find something better, but eventually I started training to be a leader.

Eventually, by probably my 5th year, I became a shift leader and ice cream inspector; I also made several friends or at least very close acquaintances with several coworkers. A few more people had left, planning began more seriously about remodeling the store and I had become ice cream manager and was now closer to the owner; he became a role-model and a friend (you all know him as Thayne Thompson or “Dad”). Around this time I also was beginning to get used to (in some way) our newest manager Nicole. I can assure by last year only 2 of us (from the original 10 I knew) were left to share stories of “the good ol’ days” which in my opinion weren’t as great as I remember.

This is now my 7th year and I’m wondering just how much will change yet again as we face the last phase of our remodel and finally have yet another full staff. How many times have I stated or implied we have a full staff? How many times have we been short-staffed? It’s been a crazy, wild ride these past 7 years! Prices of ice cream have gone up by about $1 (maybe more); cookie prices went from $1.75 (pre-tax) to $1.99 (pre-tax); ownership has changed at least twice since I’ve been here; I’ve seen a raise of $2 since I started; and I’ve seen at least 3 managers!

I’m sure, if you know songs very well at all, have the lyrics and/or song all figured out for what my title of this entry comes from. If not, I’m ready to share it with you. I’ll just say I almost think, one day I will be singing this to Thayne and if not orally at least in my head.

Well, thanks for the memories and hope to make more!

Love and prayers as always! ❤ (The lyrics are below.)

If you leave, don’t leave now
Please don’t take my heart away
Promise me just one more night
Then we’ll go our separate ways
We’ve always had time on our sides
But now it’s fading fast
Every second
Every moment
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last
I touch you once I touch you twice
I won’t let go at any price
I need you now like I needed you then
You always said we’d still be friends someday
If you leave
I won’t cry
I won’t waste one single day
But if you leave, don’t look back
I’ll be running the other way
Seven years went under the bridge
Like time was standing still
Heaven knows what happens now
You’ve got to, you’ve gotta say you will
I touch you once, I touch you twice
I won’t let go at any price
I need you now like I need you then
You always said we’d meet again
I touch you once I touch you twice
I won’t let go at any price
I need you now like I need you then
You always said we’d still be friends
I touch you once I touch you twice
I won’t let go at any price
I need you now like I need you then
You always said we’d meet again someday
If you leave
If you leave
If you leave
Don’t look back
Don’t look back
“If You Leave” Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, 1986.
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White Rabbit with Questions

White Rabbit!

Who made me a leader? What is my purpose? Where do I see myself in a year? When will things finally improve for my family and myself? Why do I still keep my business even though it’s not making as much money as I’d hoped? How do I keep myself motivated when times are tough, such as right now? These questions are just a few that I found myself asking today while Mom and Steven went grocery shopping without me. I was home waiting for a phone call (more about that another time). I guess, now that it’s been about 9 hours since I started asking all those questions, I should start answering them again because before I know it I’ll be back at work in about 10 hours or so.

Who made me a leader? I guess I was born a leader; I have always tried to stand up for “the little guy” as it were. Some times, when I was much younger and even today, I am constantly bullied and belittled. I am bullied usually because I appear much softer and nicer than most people, so others think they can take advantage of me in that regard. They think I’ll just cave under pressure. I used to when I was much younger give in quite regularly to these meanies and give them whatever they wanted. I was afraid that if I didn’t they’d beat me up or mock me, etc. Sure I was scared and I didn’t always stand up for “the little guy.” One “little guy” was actually Steven. I pushed him away when I was younger and even until I graduated college/university the first time. I guess I did so thinking that maybe all the propaganda was right; I’d be successful if I didn’t have a “tag-along” or a “shadow” as it were. I didn’t want someone clinging to me. Much later I learned how wrong I was and how wrong the propaganda is!

What is my purpose? I’m still figuring that out, but I know it’s giving voice to those without one and leaving this world better than how I found it. 🙂 I learned that pretty early on in my life. That is the reason I feel so strongly about being a leader or an advocate. I was probably about 6 or 7 when I watched the movie that inspired me to do just that. The scene I’m thinking of is when the major character asks “What is man’s use? Why is he born at all?” The answer comes back, in summary, to leave the world in a better state than how he found it. Even at such a young age, I realized this is very important and must somehow be attainable for everyone (or at least we should try to be the best we can to those we love or encounter).

Where do I see myself in a year? I’ll probably, sadly to some extent, still be serving cookies and ice cream. I don’t want to be stuck there! I want to be making lots of money with my own company and able to work from home. I want to be financially independent and debt free! As it stands, my credit card debt is astronomical and I was hoping to have it paid off by summer.

When will things finally improve for  my family and myself? I wish I could answer that! If I could answer that I’d be well on my way to a stress-free life and things would even calm down for me. As is, I have no answer; I am just hoping and praying it will be soon!

Why do I still keep my business even though it’s not making as much money as I’d hoped? Mainly I’m keeping it because I want to make it a success and I hope to prove to everyone (myself included) that this was indeed a risk worth taking and doing. I also want to show everyone that you can indeed work for yourself; you don’t need to slave away under the corporate shadow and economic greed of large corporate giants!

How do I keep myself motivated when times are tough, such as right now? My biggest motivation is the same as my purpose and why I am an advocate/leader: to leave this world better than I found it and to give a voice to those who have none!

Well, I think I’ll sign off there because my head’s starting to hurt again; I don’t know why and I’m sweating. Great! I think I know why my head hurts now; my blood sugar/glucose is probably sky-high again! 😦

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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Here I Go Again

About two days have passed now and I’m still infuriated! 😡 An artist on Deviant Art (where I’m also a member) posted his last piece stating that after posting it he was committing suicide. He had enough cyber bullying and mockery from a video game (the same video game that I’ve stated that Steven rages over). I tried to post to a community/forum that was started to help other players have a voice, share artwork, etc. about the game. When I made the thread I got much of the same bullying and threats. Some users said that “it was a personal problem” and that I “panick[ed] the [Splatoon] community [unjustly and] unnecessarily.” I tried to argue that it was indeed the community’s fault and that they should “be aware that someone committed suicide because of the game.” Again I was shot down! They insist that there is no reason to worry or bother them; I should “try to get in touch with that person [your]self!” So I did try, but to no avail. I finally had to go on to work and try to forget about it. When I got home to check the status of the said thread, it was gone! It was deleted; I was and still am dumbfounded! There is no record of it in my history of posts or on the forum itself. I’ve tried contacting the admins and no one is replying as of yet.

When I finally reflected on all this as calmly and rationally as I could late last night and earlier today I came to a conclusion. Perhaps this is indeed who I am. I finally have a word for my leadership and why I’m a leader. I am an advocate; I am the voice for change and for those who cannot (for whatever reason) speak for themselves! I will fight for change and equality; I will make their voices heard! I’m willing to stand up and fight on their behalf. I am a leader and even if no one agrees with me, I believe I am doing what is morally correct! I may be “double trouble” but if it gets the job done and helps the weak and voiceless heard, then I am doing my job as an advocate! This, this alone is my sole reason, perhaps, for being a leader!

Here I go again; I am stirring up all kinds of trouble. I’ve done it several times in the past and I’ll do it again! You cannot stop me! I will make my voice (and many others’) heard! You are either a supporter of my cause(s) or an opponent; I will not take mediocrity or indecisiveness. If I’m double trouble for fighting to make the weak and voiceless heard, then so be it! Come what may; I will not back down!

Love and prayers, as always! ❤

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