Friday, January 31, 2014

What Would It Look Like

The final day of the blogathon is already here. I am going to miss having a list to turn to every day for my writing topic. Oh well, it has been a fun little season.

Today’s prompt is one in which each individual’s response will vary vastly from one person to the next. Your life without the internet. What does it look like? I am really looking forward to my sister’s post over at Admissions of a Superhero. Her complicated relationship with the internet should afford some amusement. 

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We have become a society that is quite dependent on the technology we have. The convenience of the internet has greatly changed my life. And frankly, I love it.

The biggest way it has impacted my life is not with social media, or anything like that, it is with education. 

When I was in my first semester of college we had to do a session at the school library in which we learned how to find all of the books and various other sources we might need for our assignments. It was terrible. Don’t get me wrong, I am a book lover, and I love libraries. But doing research in a library is a drag. If I had to do the whole of my college writing within the parameters that were set before me in that first semester, I would not have enjoyed school nearly as much. God bless research using a search engine as opposed to the good old Dewey Decimal System. Additionally, I did not want to move away to finish school and hated the commute to CSU San Bernardino. Therefore the internet gave me the ability to do a large portion of my education in online classes.

Don’t even get me started on the wonderful convenience of paying bills online, buying your favorite album the minute it is released, the ability to watch you tube tutorials about anything, downloading your favorite show if you don’t have tv, or looking something up that you are curious about (I hear the extreme version of this is googlitis… yes it’s a thing… Google it :) ).

And to top the wonderfulness of it all off, it was because of the internet that I was able to start this happy little blog. Who knows the positive impact this has had in my life. My love of writing has been reawakened, I have learned to be less of a perfectionist and just write, I have learned to be disciplined in jotting down my ideas, I have learned so many simple elements of easy blog design, and I have met some fun like minded people in the blogosphere. It has definitely become a fun hobby for me. 

These are all conveniences that I could live without if I had to, but the internet certainly has impacted my life for the positive. However, we have to look to Solomon in cases such as these, “beware of all extremes.” Just because the internet is convenient does not mean you should use it all the time for everything. Sometimes it is still beneficial to use your brain to try to remember something in your memory palace as opposed to going straight to Google (or Bing if you are one of those).

And this concludes our January blogathon. It has been a fun month! Thank you to all of those who participated here and there. 

Link up below for the final day. What does your life look like without the internet?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Not Your Every Day Success

Today’s blog prompt asks the writer to respond to the term “success”. 

I originally wrote this prompt topic because of a fleeting thought at the vast difference between the world’s idea of success and my own. The big house, the nice car, the great job, the Ivy League school, all of those elements that scream success. Perhaps. But the greatest success of all cannot be measured by any material item. 

While I was pondering this idea, I happened upon this statement in Les Miserables. I am telling you people, this book is speaking to me. Through all of the misery…. It speaks to me. 

“In passing, we might say that success is a hideous thing. Its false similarity to merit deceives men. They confuse heaven’s stars with a duck’s footprint left in the mud.”

And so after happening upon this portion of Hugo’s work, my response to the term “success” is now going to take a different train of thought. Instead of pondering how true success is found in serving God, loving your spouse, and raising a plethora of wonderful children who will do the same; serving people, showing God’s love to others… Yes this is truly my idea of success. And if I were to ponder this side of the question further, my parents would have been the prime example of success. 

However, I am drawn to the quote from Les Miserables and therefore will respond different than I otherwise would have. Success as a hideous thing. Success disguised as merit which deceives men. If only Hugo could see the state the world is in now. How often has the world’s idea of success broken homes and torn families apart? How often have traditional values given way to what society deems “success.” This dream that so many pursue… is not truly what life should be about. It is heaven’s stars at all, but merely a duck’s footprint in the mud. 

Maybe if we moved away from the great need for success and started focusing on those elements, actions, and ideas which the world may not deem important, we would discover where true success lies. 

What is your idea of success? Link Below!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Love Affair With....

I can’t even believe we are in the last few days of the blogathon. Today’s prompt can go wherever your imagination takes you. “My Love Affair With _____”.

My mind raced through a bunch of interesting topics…. Or rather, topics that are interesting to me; My emotional love affair with a book, practical love affair with my vitamix (certainly more on that in a future post regardless), my never ending love affair with Europe. So much potential. 

I am going with something very obscure and basic because I really, truly, bless the day this item came into my life. 

Wait for it....

My love affair with my memory foam mattress topper. 

Oh yes. This has been one of the most wonderful, and amazing purchases Cory and I have ever made.
It all started on a cold winter night (sounding serious right?), Cory’s back had been bothering him and he hadn’t been sleeping well. We happened to be at Costco and the mattress pad happened to be on sale. Rather fortuitous. And so we bought it. 

This happened to be on the night that my sister decided to have a baby. Cory and I were on call to watch her two older children. But seriously, we needed to try our wonderful new purchase. And so what did we do? We packed up the mattress pad (which is huge after it is out of the box and starts to un-smoosh by the way) and brought it over to my sister’s. If you are going to be sleeping in somebody else’s bed, this is the way to bring the comfort of home with you. 

It has been over a year since that day and I seriously kid you not…. Several times a week either Cory or I will vocalize to the other how wonderful our bed is. And I think how comfortable it is every. single. night. – no exaggeration. It is as if I am lying on a wonderful bed of cloud candy. 

So there you have it. A very different topic than the ones we have been discussing thus far. But really, my love affair with my memory foam mattress topper is a pretty big deal.

Now that you know how vast your options are, do you have any "love affairs" to share? Link Below!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Road That Led Me Here

Continuing on a rather deep note, today’s prompt offers yet another opportunity for reflection and soul searching. What are the most important elements that impacted you to make you who you are today?

This was a pretty fun one for me. I feel like there are so many things that brought me to where I am today. Various decisions could be overlooked as insignificant, until hindsight demonstrates their import. I will just name a few of those elements which greatly impacted the course of my life. 

First, my parents homeschooled me for the entirety of my pre-college education. Because of this I maintained friends that were church friends, developed a great love for both reading and writing, and set myself a very high moral standard at a young age. I cannot even imagine how different my life would be if I had not been homeschooled. It was one of the best things my parents could have done for me.

Next, when I was ten my parents started our church. We built this church up as a family and through the years it has truly become our family ministry. Sixteen years has passed and the church is thriving and full of so many wonderful people. Being part of the infamous “PK” clan, all of us kids were the kind that stayed on the straight and narrow. Having a place in the ministry truly helped to feed a sensitive conscience. 

And third, we grew up in a reasonably small town. I had a small circle of strong Christian friends. I remember so many of them couldn’t wait to get out. I was never like that. I always loved where I lived. And yes, the opportunities were limited. But the limited opportunities helped to direct my course. For instance, so many people have told me that I should have done modeling, and the greatest thing that kept me from it was the many required trips to LA. If I lived in a big city, I probably would have. And my life would look totally different. 

And finally, it was a combination of all of these things which brought me to where I am today. I loved my family and the safe environment that they made for me so I didn’t want to go away to the city for college. Yet, I loved to learn and wanted to study English Literature. As a result I commuted or did online classes until I completed my BA. I dated and subsequently married one of my childhood friends. And Cory says that if I had gone to pursue any of those opportunities in the city he doesn’t think I would have married him. What a sad thought, since we have built up the most wonderful life together.

It is amazing the little decisions that you make (or your parents make when you are young) which mold you into the person you are. This is why it is ever so important to seek God and determine the perfect plan that He has for you while making any of those potentially life altering decisions. 

What decisions, instances, or people brought you to where you are today? Link below!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Advice That Will Change Your Life

The wonderful weekend is over and here we face another week full of fresh possibilities… I am sure that is what everyone is thinking, right? Maybe, maybe not. But it is true nonetheless. 

We are in the final weeks of the blogathon. I think I am quite in the habit of blogging every day and will (hopefully) find it difficult to give up. We will see how long that lasts. 

Today’s prompt is a pretty simple one. Share some great advice that you have been given. 

This seems like it should be rather easy. I have been racking by brain all weekend, trying to think of one of those wonderful moments in which somebody said something profound that changed my life. Nothing came to mind. 

I was attempting to determine why I cannot recall any one of those amazing “come to Jesus” advice moments. It seemed odd…. Because I really, really strive to make good decisions and I love it when those people who are most important to me speak into my life. 

And then I realized why I couldn’t think of a great moment and I am going to explain it as best as I can. I just don’t want it to sound egotistical… but here goes. It is because I was just raised with the knowledge of what is right… so in most cases I already know. Don’t get me wrong, I have several people that I go to for advice on a regular basis. My husband, mom, dad, and sisters (side note, I would never make a life changing decision without the approval of several of these people). But I have never been given a life changing piece of advice that I didn’t already know in my heart because of the way I have chosen to live my life: I am in the word every day, seeking God every day. I feel like this is coming out egotistical after all…. But it is not meant to be.

I guess, I should just say that my parents are the ones who gave me the life changing advice when I was very young and I never faltered, wavered, or questioned. Serve God. Stay in church. Read the Bible. Pray. Love others. And while doing all of this – have fun. 

There was no one moment when my parents first told me this, because there was no need. They just lived it. My whole childhood, they lived this. And then they would tell me, and I would feel like I already knew because that was our life. That was what life was all about. That was truly living. 

And so I have never been at a strange crossroad in my life wondering where to go, because the original advice I was given by my oh-so-wonderful parents, has taught me how to live consistently, every day.

Now I am not saying it will always be this way. I know that there will be times in the future when I will have to make tough decisions. But I also know that this advice, or rather, way of life, that my parents taught me, is the foundation that good decisions are built on. 

What is the best advice you have ever been given? I would love to hear. Link below!  

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